Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Church Mustn’t Entangle Itself With Politics


By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

Following their meeting with former president Edgar Lungu in Lusaka the other day, Archbishop Dr Alick Banda and Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu raised some interesting issues that immediately caught our attention.

While Bishop Banda intimated that the meeting was intended to dispel rumours and innuendos that the church was divided; on the other hand, Archbishop Mpundu emphasized that the church’s mandate is to stand with and speak for the voiceless in society. He reiterated the church’s commitment to serve the community, noting that they must work together to address issues affecting the nation.

What do we make of this?

During the PF regime, the church……..particularly the Catholic church and “pentes” were extremely divided. Some of the adherents became so radicalized in their support for a particular leader to the extent of christening themselves as “Christians for so and so!”

Was he ‘demi god’ of some kind to warranty a following of that kind from gullible believers?

Anyway, the clergy must appreciate that since each of us are created in a unique way representing God’s image, we shouldn’t be expected to share the same preferences. This equally applies to politics…..while some individuals might be excited with what Peter Sinkamba’s Green Party stands for, others may be attracted to UNIP for its impeccable record!

It would therefore be folly for pastors or priests to expect their church members to ‘blindly’ support their preferred political candidates simply because they’re beneficiaries of nchekeleko (brown envelopes) or happen to share a few drinks with them. Church members aren’t toddlers! These are adults with lucid mental faculties capable of arriving at their own decisions. These are some of the issues that are contributing to divisions in the Church.

We totally agree with Archbishop Mpundu when he says the church’s mandate is to stand with and speak for the voiceless in our communities. Immediately the Church deliberately chooses to become blind to the injustices of our people and instead elects to kowtow to those in authority in exchange for 3 pieces, it immediately loses its moral ground to speak for our people. And when such a thing occurs, just know we are in big problems. Citizens are in their own……they’re left with no one to turn to for moral guidance.

In conclusion, we don’t expect the church to side with any political party at any particular time. Instead, the Church must endeavour to remain neutral and while not neglecting its Biblical mandate of caring for the poor and tackling injustice wherever and in whatever form it may present itself.


  1. Not the Catholic Church. It’s a micro-state with state apparatus and also has ambassadors. It has committed serious atrocities in its long history but somehow has survived. The Catholic Church will always be political. I personally think it’s some kind of secret society that became too big to remain secret. Wil the world be better off without the Catholic Church? I do not think so because it does some good as well. The Catholic Church is therefore like people. You find the good, the bad and the ugly. We just have to live with it because it’s not going anywhere.

  2. Should the church be neutral? I think not. Neautral means keeping quiet in the face of injustice. The church must collectively speak for those suffering. The extent of a church’s political stand must be to offer checks and balances.
    Moving forward, I think Bill needs to read his articles several times before he publishes. His last piece was attacking the person of Archbishop Mpundu and today he is saying he agrees with Mpundu that the church must speak for the people in society. It was okay for Mpundu to speak against the PF but it is wrong of him to continue to speak against the UPND?

  3. This country is just something else, 2 days ago another 12 year old girl was killed by a crocodile whilst drawing water in lake Kariba, another will be taken away again, remember these are weekly events and yet authors on Lusaka times, both ruling and opposition parties are busy discussing politics and the church, deregistration of PF etal, all which dont add any value to Zambians at all

    • Of course the loss of life is regrettable. But please help me, how would authors discussing the crocodile add value to Zambians?

  4. Churches were there decades ago, what you have now are commercial entities except the Jehovas witnesses which is a serious church, and you can tell by the way they conduct their prayers and discipline. The rest must just be applying for marketeer booster loans. Politicians are also a let down big time in this country – MMD left a decent economy, thanks to Mwanawasa and RB, after they left it has been free fall up to now

  5. Kapinga when Archbishop Trephor Mpundu was verbally assaulting Edgar Lungu you never complained. I don’t know what it’s that you hate about Lungu that you can’t let go. Whether you like it or not Lungu will always be in our history as one of our presidents. Expect people to call on from time to time. You can not take that fact from him

  6. Based on rumours that Edgar plans a sneaky comeback, Uncle Bill fabricated a story full of hate speech and falsehood.
    After he unsuccessfully delivered a scathing attack on Lungu and the two clergies, our political commentator now wants to sound relevant by claiming the church must be neutral. The public backlash against Kapin’ga is a lesson to all ‘article writters’ to be impartially balanced.

  7. The church, like the media, is the “Forth Estate”, to speak for masses. The church’s neurality is a vague concept, it is hard to tell whether you mean objectivity or inactivity. These same churches helped Hakainde wrestle power from Lungu. Which is why the Banda/Mpundu reconciliation (mistaken to mean revenge to some) unsettled several politicians and are busy asking for neutrality. While most people want churches to support governments of the day, governments won’t take it lightly when the same church feels that the poor are down trodden wishing for tables to turn. Do you want the church’s silence to mean neutrality?

  8. As a catholic and speaking for myself, the church should step aside and avoid creating unwanted headlines. It is easier that way but i guess money is a challenge for many and this makes it difficult making it difficult for our Bishops, Pastors and priests to step aside. Avoid creating unwanted speculation and keep pushing inclusive evangelisation through the social teaching of the church via media and provide guidance

  9. So satan is meeting the church cadre. What a joke, Judas must be very angry now.
    Visionless meeting the d1ckle$$

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