Felex Share Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS should be wary of fake prophets who are turning churches into money-making ventures, Acting President Joice Mujuru has said.
She said local religious groups should not allow foreign pastors and political leaders to dictate the way they should worship.
Acting President Mujuru made the remarks while addressing thousands of indigenous Apostolic and Zion church members during the National Day of Prayer at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare yesterday.
The members, who were drawn from the country’s 10 provinces, were praying for the country’s socio-economic and political stability under the banner of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe.
The body brings together more than 350 apostolic and Zion churches in Zimbabwe.
“Our churches have come of age and we are people who know what we want on national events. We should not allow foreigners to tell us what to do,” she said.
“I was happy to hear that you conducted today’s event without any interference. People should be on the look out for fake prophets.
“In Zimbabwean churches, I have never heard people celebrating someone’s death or illness. True Christians assist people by praying for ailments not expressing happiness about it.”
Acting President Mujuru, who is also ACCZ matron, said some people were pursuing Christianity for personal benefits.
She urged churches to desist from factionalism.
“Our worshipping is now about money, but money is the root of all evil. Because of money you hear many people rejecting their pastors and pursuing personal benefits,” said Acting President Mujuru.
“It has destroyed true Christianity and there is need to follow what our forefathers used to do. Some of you want to be churches themselves, a move that does not develop church members.”
Church leaders, she said, should lead by example for the benefit of their members.
“Many people look up to their leaders, but some of you have qualities that are questionable,” said Acting President Mujuru.
“It is easy for your members to follow what you do, especially in politics. Always behave in a manner that helps the country.”
Acting President Mujuru said the relationship between Government and the Church was vital for the development of the country.
“Government looks to the Church for molding of society and building lives of people for peace and development,” she said.
“Indigenous churches are a symbol of nationalism during the colonial era and as such suffered marginalisation during this era. It is this spirit of church leaders that contributed to the liberation of the country.”
Acting President Mujuru also launched the Negotiated Benefits Zimbabwe empowerment programme before she presented official order of merit awards to founding fathers of the indigenous Christian religion.
NBZ is a joint venture between apostles in Zimbabwe and South Africa that will see locals getting finance to start self-help projects.
Turning to empowerment, the Acting President urged churches to participate in the Government’s indigenisation and empowerment drive.
“The time to act is now,” she said. “Some of you have already benefited and we urge you to be productive. This is the only way we can be self-reliant and desist from being beggars.”
Speaking at the same occasion, ACCZ president Reverend Johannes Ndanga said religious and spiritual leaders should work “more diligently and effectively” to defend the country from Western forces.
“There are a lot of ungodly initiatives that are being pushed to come through and corrupt our society,” he said.
“Satanic tendencies ranging from false prophets to protracted attempts to push through homosexuality into our new Constitution have become the order of the day.
“That calls us to have longer nights defending the sovereignty of this country, defending the spiritual fabric that holds us together as one.”
In his solidarity message, president of the All Africa Federation of Churches Bishop Nchime Tsekedi of South Africa said his country would stand by Zimbabwe in defeating imperialism.
“Our struggles are your struggles and as such we should work hand in hand until we defeat our enemies,” he said.
The event was also attended by senior Government officials and traditional leaders.