THERE is a convergence between politics and religion; an interconnection so strong that it should be evident at a glance.
I write this article against a backcloth of some who conceive that those who identify with religion must be divorced from political themes, whether in opinion or participation.
Personally, I know of many Christians who are active in politics and yes who are committed within the Christian line of work.
Personally, I contribute to a number of Christian bodies which have also borrowed ideas from my work over the years and have invited me on countless occasions as a speaker.
However, I perceive that it would be wrong for any citizen of this land to want to rob anyone be they religious or nonreligious from adding their voice towards national issues.
We have had members of the clergy who took political office in years gone by and we continue to have the likes of Bishop Ancelimo Magaya who has continued to demand the return of Itai Dzamara, Bishop Noah Pashapa, Andrew Wutawunashe, apostolic sect leaders, Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Pius Ncube and recently Pastor Mugadza who was arrested for exercising his constitutional right to demonstrate.
While these men have received punches for either being proestablishment or against the status quo, they ought to be commended for taking and urging interest in the good administration of the country.
Religious people enjoy the freedom of conscience and the freedom of opinion as expressly granted in the national charter like everyone else.
The responsible citizen, in my view, must never be blind to issues that affect their countrymen, Christians or nonChristians.
There is a convergence between religion and politics and we cannot try and pretend to be blind to the interface.
While it must be agreed that falsehoods and hurtful politicking has no place within people of faith, it is naivety defined when one thinks religion is not affected by the politics of the day.
It is deviousness of the first order when one cannot see the apparent collusion between politics and religion and tries to stop the religious world from pointing out at malady in society.
It is one reason why the sprouting prophets in the country have been attacked left right and centre for their only concern and liveliness is seen when it comes to the movement of the tithe collection bowl but they stand aloof when the fundamental rights of citizens are trampled upon.
One just needs to ask themselves how many of the hundreds of prophets emerging daily in the country have spoken against the disappearance of journalist turned political activist, Itai Dzamara, who has been missing for close to a year now.
As concerned Christians in Zimbabwe, all that we yearn for is a society where people can worship freely without any religious or political leader abusing or taking advantage of them.
We long for a better system of governance. We want a country that is well administered that enables people to feed their families and to enjoy the great gift of life.
We desire a country in which the rule of law is upheld and people’s right to demonstrate and petition respected.
We demand a nation where the police do not unnecessarily brutalize people. We detest violence, whether from the State or individuals.
We require peace as it is critical for worship. We require leaders that fear God and true religion should be concerned when prisoners have to use the bucket toilet system and worse when they have to pluck Bible pages to use as toilet paper.
Real Christians ought to be touched when prisoners live in condemned cells that have been declared unfit for human habitation.
Christians must be touched when hospitals are found wanting in terms of basic drugs like Panadol. It is the Christian who knows his duty to stand out and point to malady when thirteen year old girls are taken in for marriage as we continue to see in some sections of society.
The responsible Christian would be interested in adding their voice on contentious issues such as the death penalty currently before the Constitutional Court.
There is a whole world of difference between Christianity and docility. Christianity is not another term for passiveness.
Real Christians are alert to their environment and matters that affect the faith. In this light, it is imperative that true Christians are concerned with the governance of a country as it has several implications to the church and its fundamental beliefs.
It is not easyfor pastors to be shepherding thousands of hungry people.
There is no joy when a church cannot fulfil its biblical obligations such as contributing to charity work and building infrastructure because a country is on its knees.
Politics is what creates government and prescribes its road map. It is politics which ties everything together from education, family to religion itself.
It is therefore an oxymoron to suppose that those with religious inclination should have no voice on issues that have a clear bearing on the welfare of the nation.