Malawi Churches react on issues affecting country

Leaders of Malawi’s biggest Christian church movement, the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), have voiced their official stand on current “contemporary issues” affecting Malawi.

In a statement issued Thursday entitled: ‘Our Nation and Contemporary Issues Affecting Our Lives’, the clergy have tackled on issue of homosexuality, the looming hunger, the Lake Malawi border dispute with neighboring Tanzania, national security and the economy.

MCC Chairperson Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe, Vice Chairperson Rev. Bossman Chitheka, General Secretary Rev. Dr. Osborne Joda-Mbewe and Executive Committee Member Rev. Andrew T. Maere have signed the statement.

 Homosexuality

MCC says it has categorically expressed surprise following reports in the media over suspension of anti-gay laws.

Bishop Bvumbe: Against homosexuality

“If this is indeed true that Government has decided to suspend laws that prohibits same sex sexual relationships, the Council would wish to express that as much as the Church does not promote prosecution of those that are homosexual, the Church also does not condone the practice at all costs” reads the statement in part.

The Council says it finds it very amusing that human rights groups and other sections of society use public debates, news articles and other means to promote homosexuality as a minority right issue as if it is a national priority when in fact there are a number of minority groups, whose issues are more deserving than Homosexuality.

It says that it is surprising that such proponents claim that they are doing this in order to advance health or medical rights of homosexuals and thereby help reduce HIV and AIDS cases.

“On the contrary the Church is very concerned that promotion of homosexual relationships is in itself the promotion of HIV and AIDS transmission.

“Our duty is one that also promotes the larger good. An individual right should therefore not threaten the rights of the larger community. Our society has safeguard mechanisms that ensure the God given rights should go together with God given responsibilities. Responsibilities as given by God far much out-weight the homosexuality ‘minority’ right in this regard”.

The men of God say it clear that there is no law that denies homosexuals the right to medical access and treatment “as we all know treatment and medical attention is available even to murderers, rapists, and other such criminal acts so much that this cannot be a basis for calling for legalizing homosexuality in the country”.

The Council says it also wonders if Malawi neighboring countries like Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania are also going through such kind of disturbing issues.

“Is it because of the much needed financial donations? Why is Malawi alone being pressed with this predicament? Who is pushing us and why?”

Quoting biblical verses from Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:18-25  the the international faith community says homosexuality acts and or practices, are a violation of the revealed truth of the complementarily of males and females

“As Christians, we believe that sex was sanctioned for man and woman who come together as one body, and not between people of the same sex or gender (Eph. 5: 22 – 33). Anything else is but a rebellion of God’s intention for human beings,” reads the statement.

 Hunger

The Churches has hailed that the government of Malawi for accepting  that Malawi faces a looming hunger situation and it therefore applauds all the efforts government is currently undertaking to redress the situation through its various initiatives.

“The Council also wishes to appreciate the information coming from government that there are adequate food reserves, enough to feed the nation, and we are pleased that the Church has also already started offering relief services to those in need,” it says .

MCC is therefore calling upon all other churches and faiths groups, companies, non-governmental organizations, even individuals to join this good cause in order to help those in need.

“It is also in this regard that the Council also wishes to call upon government to seriously check the subsidy fertilizer scam and bring perpetrators to book within the laws as a way of safeguarding food security”.

Lake Malawi

MCC says it acknowledges the efforts that government has put forward to engage in meaningful dialogue with Tanzania over the recent Lake Malawi border issue.

“However, the Council stands to believe that the general understanding of all Malawians is that Lake Malawi entirely belongs to Malawi and that the Church and all Malawians will do anything possible to ensure that the Lake remains Malawi’s.

“As the Church, we continue to offer moral and spiritual support to the Malawi leadership to safeguard the sovereignty, interests, and integrity of the nation. We call upon our member churches to offer prayer and form prayer groups at different levels to pray for a peaceful end to this matter”

Security

The Church says it is very concerned about the growing reports of armed robbery, murder, rape, theft, in the country and calls upon government, especially the office of the Inspector General of Police, to strengthen security, and look into the matter with keen interest for the safety of all Malawians.

It has therefore called upon the Police and other security services to intensify patrols in every corner of the country to protect life and property without biased or favor.

Economy

MCC says it is disappointed with the slow inflow of promised donor funds following the advised devaluation. However it applauds government for engaging stakeholders with a view of remedying the situation.

“The Council acknowledges that the current economic status presents a bitter pill for all Malawians to swallow, and therefore encourages government to come up with stronger and doable initiatives towards economic recovery.

“We urge for a quick solution to the situation and pray that perpetrators working against economic growth should be checked in the strongest of terms. We urge government to offer regular updates on their economic life.

“We also acknowledge with joy the improved forex and fuel situation and call upon Government to continue improving the situation and control the raising fuel costs”.

Conclusion

The Council says as a Church body it will remain unique from all other civil society and human rights players as it puts emphasis on responsibilities.

“As the Church, we believe that rights originate from God just as God also gave responsibilities to human kind. When a right overrides responsibilities and impinges on God’s authority and supremacy, then such rights are not worthy entertaining.

“As a nation, we are reminded to also put emphasis on responsibilities, both individual and communal, in order to serve the common good. The two must always go together for any democracy to be meaningful.”

It concludes the statement with a verse from Deuteronomy 30: 19 – 20 which in part reads: “…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him…”

The Council has 24 Christian Member Churches across the country and 12 para-Church organisations/affiliates.

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