Malawi not secular state, says Catholic cleric

Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) secretary general Father Henry Saindi  has dismissed assertions that Malawi is not a secular state, saying human rights activists are wrong to conclude so.

Reverend Fr. Saindi: Malawi is not a secular state

Reverend Fr. Saindi: Malawi is not a secular state

Centre for Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence has argued that Malawi is a secular State where religious beliefs and culture should not be used as basis for oppressing others.

But Saindi said  when pro-life marchers presented their petition to parliament that a secular state entailed a state without allegiance to any religion and that that it is worldly, unspiritual and irreligious.

“Malawi is not a secular country,” said Saindi. “The fact that we have in our midst some secular individuals doesn’t necessarily mean the whole country is.”

He added: “ In actual fact, it just underlines the fact that faith values are deeply imbedded in our society.  We are very accommodative; very tolerant.”

Human rights activist Billy Mayaya said the public needs to be sensitised “to understand the secular nature of our country.”

Mayaya said: “Many people here thought Malawi is a Christian country which is not true, we are a secular state.”

Government also fears the  activist are misinterpreting secular status of Malawi and seeks to redefine it to advance an anti-religious agenda.

Christians also claim their rights to freedom of religious conscience have been steadily subordinated to the rights – especially of homosexual people – to equality.

Rights are a matter of balance – the exercise of one person’s rights can undermine those of another.

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santana
Guest
If the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda takes power from Museveni that country will name itself a Christian country because the rebels are saying their constitution will base on the 10 commandments. Commandments like ”don’t kill, don’t do aldutery, are not necessarily Christian. People even before Christianity were not killing each other anyhow and take it as normal. Inborn instinct was telling our parents that killing is not human. There were no bibles or Qurans by then. Anthu sankalowerana m’manyumba kukachita chigololo koma wosawakhudza ayi. Ankachita mozemba komanso nthumazi because their instinct told them so. Therefore it is not only… Read more »
paddy
Guest

malawi is a Republic, those representing the Citizenly should up hold, what the majority stand for. Keep working hard at all that may be at once religious Mwians may see arbotion and sodomy as some form of rights and freedom. God forbidoh o!

santana
Guest
In the Irish Republic 80 percent of the population is catholic. During referendum on gay marriage 74 percent voted yes to the marriage. This is an indication that whatever the church can do outside the pulpit can not control an individual mind. 65 percent of catholics in Britain are in support of abortion yet the church condemns this. My point is that it is a waste of time and energy for the clergy to invade the streets just to give a message to the nation that abortion is a sin. You have been telling us about this so many times… Read more »
Mandambwe
Guest
Malawians are only good at discussing issues that have little, if not, no bearing on development of our country. That partly explains why we are at the base of the table. The bottom of the matter is that with or without abortion, the nation can not develop if we don’t change our way we do things. Abortion law would not come to force any one to abort, but rather allow any one who wishes so to access the services freely. With that understanding, I don’t find it reasonable enough to take the so called clergymen to leave their duties and… Read more »
santana
Guest
If Malawi is a Christian state, why then should the church waste time walking the streets to prevent parliamentarians passing this law? If the govt or MPs legalise this, Christians as individuals will not practice this because their God does not allow them to do it. This is not an issue which needs 3 days of discussion. Should we say the clergy does not tell its faithfuls that abortion is bad? Does Parliament comprise people who don’t belong to any church? If after this demo and rejection of the bill people still abort will we say the church has failed?… Read more »
kamko
Guest

Time has come now to kill all gays . We will see if with your money you will be able to protect them.

tangupenya
Guest

Can someone enlighten me here, what qualifies a country to be a religious one, is it by having more religious people than nonreligious ones or what?. The correct answer to this question will surely determine whether Malawi is a secular country or not.

Qwerty
Guest
As much as I am part of the church, this smacks of bogus religiosity and bigotted zealotry! Malawi is a liberal democracy: A secular construct that privileges indivual rights and popular sovereignty. It thus embraces all and sundry regardless of religious/moral persuasion. Our laws support freedom of religion but are not religious (i.e. they are not christian, muslim, hindu, animistic etc). Whilst the church has every right to express its opinion on matters of national importance, it cannot force its morality on everyone. That would be dictatorship. Moralizing legality and policy is slipperly because of the transience and plurality of… Read more »
Namba Khadu
Guest

Qwerty,

You are a wise man and obviously learned. I share your disdain in the stupidity being propagated by church and religious zealots like Kachaje and friends. STOP already with this nonsense.

Truthful
Guest

Actually, you are lying. Malawi is not a secular state. There is no documentation suggesting that.. In practice, Malawi is religious rather. Even atheists “believe” that there is NO God. That in itself is faith. Secularism means living without a belief system.

Zimukambani
Guest
You have made a great point if anyone is a true citizen of this country he/she must know our National Anthem. We are not a Christian Nation but a Religious nation and we all start with God as the Creator. If God us Creator all our morals are from the 10 commandments and all legislations are coming from Decalogue. That proves we are religious and must respect religion be it Christian Islam or African Traditional Religion. As Africans we can not live without God. Whether money or no money God and the standards of God must be preserved. Aluta continua… Read more »
dee kay
Guest

Mutharika doesn’t know the national anthem. What do you say about him?

Ndaga
Guest

Malawi is a secular state. The church should not cheat itself. We do not run our lives through religious dogmas except on useless things.

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