Say no to regulation of church by state


Never in the history of this country have we ever witnessed such an obsession by politicians to take control of every institution in our Country. What makes it so sad is that this obsession has been extended to the church in the name of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Most church groupings apart from the Evangelical fellowship of Zambia a group the religious minister and her church belong to rejected the formation of the ministry based on the fact that it would be used to control the church and make it another arm of the State. Another fear was that the minister would be tempted to advance the agenda of the church she belongs to using state power. And truly those fears are coming to pass.

It is also interesting to note that we have the Law association of Zambia and the media rejecting State regulation of their institutions while we have Bishops and a Reverend saying that’s the way to go with the church. What a shame. Are we declaring that the church in Zambia has failed to sort out its issues and we need the State to come in? We cannot deny that there’s a lot going on in the church today that needs attention but I don’t believe it’s something that should be left to politicians to deal with. The reason other groupings are rejecting State regulation is because they know any institution that loses its independence from State control will become a mouth piece of the State. Our country is at a place where we need more independent institutions that can be a voice not for but to the State Government and the church is one such institution.

What the church in Zambia needs is not a Ministry of Religious Affairs or a politician to police it. Let the church police itself. Let representatives of mother church bodies come together and do their work. Issues of faith are very subjective. Beliefs differ based on people’s interpretation of scripture. Thus the Religious Affairs Minister must be very careful in taking it upon herself to define what a true miracle is and what it’s not. Who is a real Prophet is and who is not because even the church she belongs to has issues of which if used to judge the authenticity of her Bishop would be unfair. It shouldn’t be left to the Minister of Religious Affairs to decide who should preach to the Zambians and who should not. The move is unconstitutional. People have the right to choose who to listen to and who not to.

Religious persecution always takes place when there’s a merging of the state and church. It’s all starting in the name of dealing with false Prophets but soon the monster which is a product of this merging of the State and Church will eat up every fiber of the church. Every Christian must rise up and come against the move to make the church another arm of the State to be used and abused by politicians. Once control has been established the next step will be suppression of certain groups and ultimately oppression. We do have excesses in the church but don’t trust politicians to do the cleaning up. We have many other urgent issues that they should deal with. Like some fake (corrupt) Government officials and witch doctors that are freely advertising their works while our Rev Minister is fighting her fellow ministers who are not in her line of flow.

Joshua Marlon

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