Zambia’s Bill 10: Why aren’t Pentecostal church leaders speaking up?

By Elias Munshya

Bill 10 proposes to abolish the multi-religious character of the Republic of Zambia that is enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia – in both the entrenched and the unentrenched provisions. With due respect to my vocal Pentecostal sisters and brothers – Zambia is a multi-religious nation. And the history and suspicion that we Pentecostals have had to endure should make us pause when a government tries to entrench a particular version of Christian faithfulness. We may think that we are victorious by allowing this Bill 10 because it has the “Christian-everything” we wanted. But a constitution that contradicts the Bill of Rights is not a constitution worth its salt; and Pentecostals must look beyond the ruse and call Bill 10 for what it is: a Bill that works against the democratic character of our republic.

We, Pentecostals, seem to be a one-issue faith that can easily get corrupted by meaningless things as long as someone misuses the name of our Lord. Pentecostals, no matter how highly educated, seem to be comfortable being the tool that tolerates political tyranny and misperception in Zambia. However, for a time such as this, Pentecostals must rise and speak truth to President Dr Lungu and his minister of justice (who famously refers to himself as a “Zayello”). Maybe once Pentecostals talk, this government may listen. But no. Pentecostal leaders are busy trying to become as wealthy as Lungu’s jets; or as powerful as Lungu’s bodyguards. Or as disorganised as Mr. Lubinda, himself.

Robbed of the prophetic role; we have become a one-issue faith selling our souls, not to God or the Holy Spirit, but a corrupt Caesar. And as Mr Zayello pushes through with his Bill 10, our silence shows our complacency with tyranny.

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Suggested Citation: Munshya, E. (2019). Zambia’s Bill 10: Why aren’t Pentecostal church leaders speaking Up? Elias Munshya Blog (July 24, 2019) (www.eliasmunshya.org)

Note: A version of this article may have appeared in the print and electronic edition of the Mast Newspaper on July 24, 2019 in the Munshya wa Munshya column. Elias Munshya asserts the copyright.

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