Last week, Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu announced to the world that Catholics in Zimbabwe are working on a community radio project that will amplify the voice of the Church in its evangelisation agenda.
We, at Jesuit Communications where the radio station will be housed, were overwhelmed with the positive feedback that came from both Catholics and non-Catholics who appreciate the role the church has always played in society – with schools, hospitals and other care centres.
“It is good that the church finds its voice. This was long overdue”, was the common message.
In the other email messages that came to us after the announcement by the Archbishop, there were two distinct questions: Where will you start with your work? Will you work with non –Catholics?
For starters, the radio initiative is new but the work of the church is as old as our country itself. The radio will simply offer the already existing works a platform to reach out to more people.
Non-Catholics should not worry, for the church knows neither ‘Jews nor Gentiles’ in her social apostolates. This is why more than half the numbers of people in Catholic mission schools and hospitals are non-Catholics, but ordinary people who share the general binding principle that people must have life, and have it abundantly!
Plans for Radio Chiedza have been in our books for a long time now and we are moving to fulfill them because the new government has made solid pronouncements that it will open up the media space to new players very soon. We are also buoyed by pronouncements from forums like the Synod on New Evangelisation that recommended that the church must make full use of new communication platforms to drive its evangelisation agenda.
The main objective of Radio Chiedza is to offer a platform through which the many players who are working with and for the Church can share their work and its fruits with a wider audience. Radio Chiedza promises to amplify the message of the Church, especially on social justice issues, to nurture people who believe that Christianity is practical and all-embracing, to be a platform for the evangelisation of our political, social, cultural and economic dimensions of life, and also to respond to social questions of our time.