From the Worldwide Faith News archives


From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Mon, 10 Feb 2003 17:57:31 -0800


P. O Box, 66878, 00800 Westlands, NAIROBI, Kenya.  Tel: 254-2-4442215,
Fax: 254-2-4445847, 4443241; Email: ,

Archbishop Ndungane Picked To Mediate Zimbabwe Crisis

HARARE (AANA) February 10 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has asked 
Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of the Church of the Province of 
Southern Africa (CPSA), to mediate in the longstanding dispute between 
Zimbabwe and Britain.

The invitation was made by the President after a two-hour meeting with the 
Archbishop here last Saturday (February 1). "I am very hopeful. It 
certainly opens a new window of hope," said Archbishop Ndungane.

The Archbishop of Cape Town added that the fact that he was invited to get 
involved in negotiations was a step in the right direction towards 
resolving the stalemate between Zimbabwe and its former colonial ruler, 

The dispute began simmering after Mugabe introduced a controversial land 
redistribution programme in 2001, that called for repossession of land 
owned by white farmers for distribution to indigenous Zimbabweans.

The programme triggered land invasions and violent clashes.  Excited black 
Zimbabweans invaded agricultural lands to forcefully expel white farmers.

As a result, Mugabe has increasingly faced isolation by the international 
community, with Britain being the most vocal.

Although he did not divulge details, Archbishop Ndungane said he discussed 
the worsening political, economic and social situation with President 
Mugabe. "He does not deny that there is a problem," said Ndungane.

Reported by Justus Waimiri

Church Leaders Unite To Oppose War Against Iraq

GENEVA (AANA) February 10 - Responding to the threat of military action on 
Iraq, European church leaders have issued a united call against the war, 
saying humanitarian consequences of such a war would be catastrophic.

The religious leaders issued a nine-point statement at a meeting convened 
by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in consultation with the Conference 
of European Churches (CEC), the National Council of Churches of Christ in 
the USA (NCCCUSA) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).

Raising concerns about humanitarian consequences of a war, the church 
leaders said that large-scale displacement of people, the breakdown of 
state functions, the possibility of civil war and major unrest in the whole 
region, would be "unacceptable humanitarian consequences of a war".

The Church leaders said they were extremely concerned about the continued 
calls for military action against Iraq by the US and some European 
governments. "As people of faith, our love of neighbour compels us to 
oppose war and to seek peaceful resolution of conflicts," they said.

"We believe that military force is an inappropriate means to achieve 
disarmament of any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. We insist that the 
carefully designed mechanisms of the UN weapons inspections be given the 
time needed to complete their work," they stressed.

They went on saying that the plight of Iraqi children and the unnecessary 
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the past 12 years of 
sanctions, weighed heavily on their hearts.

"In the present situation, we strongly affirm long-standing humanitarian 
principles of unconditional access to people in need," they added.

Action by Churches Together (ACT) International - a global alliance of 
churches and related agencies working in the field of humanitarian relief 
of which MECC is a member - also participated at the meeting held in 
Berlin, Germany, on February 5.

The church leaders further cautioned against the potential social, cultural 
and religious, and diplomatic long-term consequences of such a war, saying 
"we should seek co-operation for peace, justice and human dignity".

They said: "All governments, in particular the members of the Security 
Council have the responsibility to consider the whole complexity of this 
issue. All peaceful and diplomatic means to compel Iraq to comply with UN 
Security Council resolutions have not been exhausted."

The meeting was hosted by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

Reported by Callie Long, ACT Communications Officer

Church In Africa Sends Message Of Condolence To USA

NAIROBI (AANA) February 10 - The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) 
has sent a message of condolence to United States of America, following the 
death of seven astronauts on February 1.

In a statement to the US ambassador to Kenya, Johnie Carson, AACC's Interim 
General Secretary, Melaku Kifle, said those who died had sacrificed their 
lives not just for the people of United States of America, but for the 
world at large.

"The loss of the heroic astronauts is not only yours but ours too. 
Therefore, your agony at this difficult time is our agony. In the same way 
the success of their mission would have been our collective success," he

Mr Kifle said the dead astronauts sacrificed their lives in the midst of a 
discovery and "had also become our heroes and our children as well."

The seven astronauts, six Americans and one Israeli, died when their space 
shuttle Colombia exploded into flames over Texas minutes before expected 

Reported by Joyce Mulama

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home