MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti said at a recent meeting with journalists in Harare that religion plays an important role in the socio-economic and political development of the country hence the need for members from the different faith organizations in the country to meet and pray together. “This nation is spiritual and believes in God despite the fact the we worship the same through different means, traditional, Christianity and Hindu,” he said.
Having mass prayer meetings, however, may prove to be challenging in Zimbabwe. In April this year a group of pastors leading a mass prayer and members of their congregation were detained after the meeting was violently disrupted by police in Harare. Fourteen people, including four pastors, were arrested while attending the Glen Norah prayer meeting, organised by civil society to pray for peace in Zimbabwe. The meeting turned into chaos when riot police violently disrupted the gathering, and used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds.
In March 2007 police brutally suppressed another prayer rally in Highfields organised by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign and arrested more than 100 people, including Morgan Tsvangirai who was assaulted and tortured. One opposition youth Gift Tandare died.