Posted by: becketfund | March 20, 2009

Zimbabwe: Anglicans Defy Riot Police

HARARE – Sebastian Bakare, the Anglican Bishop of Harare, ignored the riot policeman at the altar trying disrupt his Sunday service on March 15, and carried on with worship, The Times reported on March 17.  In front of the church’s first full congregation for years Bishop Bakare told the representative of Zimbabwe’s security services: “If you want to attack me, I am in your hands.” This incident highlights the tension between Church and State in Zimbabwe. Since September 2007, Nolbert Kunonga, the former Bishop of Harare, and a zealot belonging to Robert Mugabe’s repressive regime, has controlled the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe.  Since breaking away from the Lambeth Palace-affiliated Harare diocese, he has defied a high court ruling in 2008 ordering him to share churches with his Anglican rivals.  Two weeks ago the Church secured an affidavit from Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri that denied knowledge of a police operation to force Anglicans away from their churches.  Anglican priests, who then urged their parishioners to return to their churches, read this affidavit to parishioners.  

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