Coronavirus - Zimbabwe: Global religious leaders express deep concern for human rights in Zimbabwe
COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic challenges and seriously affected already fragile public health and education systems
We condemn the increasing use of force, violence and intimidation against people protesting these failures, targeting particularly those deemed to oppose the current government
The World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Communion of Reformed Churches and Methodist World Council sent a letter to the churches and people of Zimbabwe expressing solidarity with the nation in its difficult quest for human rights and justice.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic challenges and seriously affected the already fragile public health and education systems,” the letter reads. “The ongoing medical doctor’s strike has caused millions of Zimbabweans – including children and pregnant women – to have no access to essential medical care.”
The letter notes that the failure to protect human rights lies in failed governance structures.
“We condemn the increasing use of force, violence and intimidation against people protesting these failures, targeting particularly those deemed to oppose the current government,” reads the letter. “We are particularly concerned about the mistreatment of political activists and other advocates for human rights.”
The letter condemns sexual abuse and violence against women activists, as well as the incarceration of journalists and political leaders.
“We believe that the God of life calls us into action for justice for the oppressed,” reads the text. “We pledge our solidarity with you as we lift up your cries for justice, dignity, and protection of their human rights.”
The organizations pledged to continue to advocate together. “Sisters and brothers, we assure you of the continued prayers of the global Christian family,” concludes the letter. “Hold steadfast to the faith that we share, which binds us together in Christian unity, and compels us to seek justice and work for peace.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).