The decision by the Zimbabwean government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to begin talks today to put an end to the country's political crisis provides "a little hope" but it's still "too early to say" whether this would bring about a "sustainable solution," said Harare Bishop Sebastian Bakare, who is attending the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops."The ruling system is so oppressive that it has denied the people their human rights, including religious freedom", said Bishop Bakare.
"My diocese continues to suffer persecution.We have been denied the freedom to worship."He
said that anti-riot police have barred Anglicans
from attending the church services at the city's Anglican Cathedral because the deposed diocesan bishop, Nolbert Kunonga, is a strong supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. (Last December, Bishop Bakare
succeeded Mr. Kunonga, who was stripped off his
clergy licence by the church of the Province of Central Africa following his
decision to pull the Anglican diocese of Harare
out of the regional division of the denomination.) Speaking at a press conference, Bishop Bakare said what Zimbabweans need urgently are "a deep sense of security without fear, the basic necessities of food and medicines" and a climate where "the rule of law is observed and human dignity is respected."In a moving account of his church's situation, Bishop Bakare said many Zimbabwean Anglicans have "stood up to anti-riot police."
...I tell people that powers come and go but people remain," said Bishop Bakare, who had been pulled out from retirement to save the beleaguered diocese.
...Bishop Bakare also said that it was not accurate to say that all Anglican churches in Africa adopt the same stand on issues.
"The churches are so diverse in their application of theology that to come up with one African church is not possible," he
A majority of the 200 bishops who have boycotted the Lambeth Conference because of the presence of bishops with more liberal views on homosexuality have come from Africa. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, primate of the Anglican Church of Australia and official spokesperson at Lambeth, said that one bishop who would have been the sole representative of the Anglican Church of Nigeria had sent a fax saying he would come, but hasn't arrived.