Zambian leaders plan to introduce religious ministry faces backlash

Stakeholders in Zambia on Monday reacted to President-elect Edgar Lungu's decision to create a ministry responsible for religious affairs.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu
Zambian President Edgar Lungu

Lungu on Sunday announced that he would create a ministry to be responsible for religious affairs to promote Christian values and give more meaning to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.

“If we have a stand-alone ministry we can effectively translate our status as a Christian nation. We will also be opening a window for the church in Zambia through the creation of the ministry. The ministry is coming once we clear issues before the courts,” Lungu said.

While some stakeholders have welcomed the move, saying it will bring sanity in religious circles, others have said it will cause further disunity and add more pressure to the country’s treasury.

Bishop John Mambo, one of the country’s respected bishops, said the decision will just work against the spirit of unity as it may cause divisions not only among Christians but other religions as well.

He said there was no need to create a ministry of religion when the country has three church mother bodies which could do the functions the ministry intends to do.

He further wondered where the money for the creation of more ministries will come from when the country was expected of fiscal discipline in the management of public resources.

But Reverend Pukuta Mwanza, executive director of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, one of the country’s religious bodies, welcomed the move, saying it will help strengthen the Christian faith.

He said the creation of the ministry will help to oversee the conduct of religious bodies in the country, following the mushrooming of faith-based organizations. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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