ZION Christian Church bishop Dr Nehemiah Mutendi has urged the Christian community to always support and work closely with President Mugabe for the country’s prosperity in line with the scriptures.Addressing thousands of ZCC members at the church’s centenary celebrations held on Sunday at the church’s headquarters in Defe Dopota area in Gokwe South, Dr Mutendi said his church will always rally behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF because the President was a “God-sent leader”.
The centenary celebrations were supposed to coincide with celebrations of the life of ZCC founder Rev Samuel Mutendi who died on July 20, 1976 but were postponed to August 11 to give ZCC members the chance to participate in the harmonised elections. The celebrations are an annual event held in July.
He said Christians had a duty to work with the Government and support the country’s leadership as written in the Bible.
“We are proud of President Mugabe because he came from God. We are also proud of the country and its leadership, some of whom are here to congratulate us for attaining 100 years. We want to say congratulations to the President and his party for winning the elections.
“It is because of their origins, where they came from and where they are going that they won the elections. Zimbabwe is our country and the reason God created the country was for us to occupy it. We support the (Zanu-PF) leadership because the Bible tells us that is the right thing to do – to support and be obedient to our leaders and Government.
“I am proud to lead people like you. I am also proud of the founding prophet of the church, Reverend Samuel Mutendi. I am proud of the church, Zion Christian Church, which is God’s church,” he said.
Bishop Mutendi said the ZCC would always rally behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF because they shared the same background with his church.
“As inscribed in the Bible, we are a product of the leadership. We are similar with them (Zanu-PF). ZCC is a revolutionary church just like Zanu-PF is a revolutionary party. Our founding father, Rev Samuel Mutendi, was arrested and persecuted by the colonial regime for starting a church that espoused African values.
The church sought to end poverty and treat sickness. He set up six schools in different parts of Masvingo and these schools were banished by colonial inspectors. They considered them to be springboards for resurgent Africa nationalism. More arrests and custodial sentences were to follow,” said Bishop Mutendi.
The ZCC Church leader said Rev Mutendi, a prophet, rainmaker and faith healer of note, and his followers were forced to pray and worship in private as doing so in public attracted the wrath of the colonial law.
He said ZCC was finally given permission to conduct prayers in public in 1937 without fear of police raids.
The church was officially registered in 1939 when the country was still known as Southern Rhodesia.