Zambia: State Hails Evangelical Church

Lusaka, Zambia - The Government has commended the Evangelical Church in Zambia (ECZ) for the key role that it has continued to play in fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Villie Lombanya said the church's continued fight against the HIV/AIDS was supplementing Government's efforts in fighting the scourge.

Mr Lombanya said while the church could pray for the sick, infected, and the affected, the Government recognised the need for it to do its part to avoid the spread of the disease by advocating various measures including abstinence.

He was speaking during the induction ceremony of Pastor Able Mateyo at Kitwe's Racecourse ECZ on Sunday.

He said the Government recognised the role that the church played in governance issues and that it had upheld the fundamental rights and the freedom of citizens.

The Permanent Secretary, however, wondered why some churches became so critical of the Government without offering alternatives to the challenges facing Zambia.

Mr Lombanya said it was sad that some church ministers created artificial boundaries and tension that did not exist.

He said the church was supposed to advise the Government and provide refuge to citizens instead of being partisan.

Mr Lombanya said he was certain that in every church, there were various different political beliefs held by members.

He appealed to church members to unite and support the church leaders including the newly inducted pastor so he could settle down to address the challenges that went with his commission.

Kitwe Evangelical Church in Zambia (ECZ) Pastor Henry Mukonda urged the newly inducted pastor to empower members of the community in Racecourse.

Pastor Mukonda said Pastor Mateyo had many responsibilities but that he should not forget to empower members of the church where he had been called to preach.

He said Pastor Mateyo should use his authority to correct things and encourage members of the church and the community.

He said the pastor should also be able to build a relationship with the people he would be working with and relate well with the church.