Africa-Press – Zambia. We, in the United Progressive People (UPP), are shocked, but not surprised by the abolition of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs by the MMD-run UPND Government. The UPND, as a party, have always been on the fence on matters of spirituality and this is public knowledge.
Zambia has 95.5% Christians, 2.7% Muslims and less than 2% Jews, Hindus, Baha’is, Sikhs and Buddhists. Thus, it is incontrovertible that our country’s population is religious.
To be clear, the UPP’s original conceptual framework and proposition to create the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs during the 2016 General Election was based on the urgent necessity to entrench the declaration of Zambia as a Christian while recognising the freedom of other minority religious communities. When the PF won the Elections and copied our idea, they did not reach out to us for the blueprint on the mandate of the ministry.
With the help of Heaven, when we form Government in the next elections, we shall re-instate the ministry. The role of the ministry shall be: 1. Coordinate with the ministry of lands to ensure that all registered Churches and other religious communities are mandatorily given land.
2. Provide grants to churches and all religious communities for schools, universities and youth skills training centres (education missions); hospitals (medical missions); and entrepreneurship (apostles in the market place missions).
3. Promote inter-religious dialogue, co-existence and understanding.
4. Structured engagements with central government on matters that need policy formulation to enhance religiosity. Clearly, this Minstry is not useless as other ill-informed political and arguably one-man job seeking religious leaders appear to be claiming.
It’s too cheap and utter foolishness to state that the ministry must be scrapped off because it was quiet on issues of gassings and police brutality. Why, then, hasn’t the misguided MMD-run UPND Government not scrapped off the Ministry of Home Affairs for the same reasons? We condemn these double standards. UPND must come out clearly on what many other silent Zambians are suspecting. The soul of Zambia is not available for spiritual prostitutions and all kinds of whoredoms. Ours is a lighthouse in the content of Africa.
We call on all genuine religious leaders to not only pray that this hour be shortened by the hand of Heaven, but to also demand the re-instatement of the ministry. This must now be part of the daily sermons and prayers.
It’s time to let G-d be G-d in Zambia. This is not the season to be on the middle line. Over 50 countries in the world have chosen to stand for their religious beliefs by creating ministries responsible for religious affairs. These include Israel, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Iran, Greeze, among others.