Divisions have erupted in the leadership of the Evangelical Church of Malawi over a pastoral letter scheduled to be read out in its churches this Sunday.
A section of the leadership of the church have described the letter as hypocritical and political on the part of the church.
Among the contents, the letter accuses the government over attacks which people living with albinism have been experiencing in the country.
One of the pastors said it is sheer hypocrisy for Evangelical Church of Malawi and the church in general to accuse the government of not doing anything to protect albinos.
“This is dishonest. And coming from the church, it is worrisome. On the issue of albino attacks, government has done well through its law enforcement agencies. This is well known. It is the church that has failed to do anything to support the government,” said one of the pastors in church.
He added: “We know of a bishop who killed our brother Masambuka in Machinga. His church and the church in Malawi in general in Malawi have been quiet about it. Only Muslims have spoken out. So what will our members say hearing us condemning government and not condemning ourselves?”
Todate, apart from demonstrated political will by the President, only government has in place a 6-point strategy which it is implementing in the fight against albino attacks while no church in Malawi is known to have any plan in place.
The Evangelical Church leaders are also at issue with the question of electorial reforms bills which the letter is raising.
Government took the bills to Parliament in December and MPs rejected them.
“We all know that cabinet did its part. The bill went to Parliament. Both oppostion and government MPs rejected it. So why is this letter going to government and not to Parliament? We suspect the church is playing politics and we do not want to be party to it,” said another pastor in the church.
The Evangelical Church pastoral letter comes after another by the Catholic Church. For the first time in the history of pastoral letters in Malawi, the Catholic one came under heavy criticism from members within the church also for being hypocritical and political.
The letter opted to conveniently leave out the issue of albino attacks in Malawi, just a few weeks after one of the clerics of the church in Zomba, Father Thomas Muhosha, was arrested for involvement in the killing of albino Macdonald Masambuka in Machinga.
Some of the churches did not read the letter at all. In some parishes in Mwanza, reading of the letter was curtailed with priests who argued it was a waste of time. In other churches such as at Mponda in Balaka, people walked out in protest as the letter was being read out.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :