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Religious Leaders to Self Introspect

It has been nearly six months since the turn around events in November last year and Zimbabwe still is drowning in the economic crisis that still affects both religious and non-religious citizens across the country—leaving desperate ordinary citizens wondering who will save the country from this dire situation.

Despite the new government’s attempts to stitch the economic situation, thousands of citizens still do not have jobs, the cash crisis still ridicules the working class, bank queues have become a job itself, that offers nothing.

The Zimbabwean economic crisis demands all citizens beginning with the President to the ordinary citizens to do self-introspection and find out where we are missing the mark. While the country’s leadership is frantically sweating, and the political leaders amassing people to push themselves into power and change the economic fraternity as they claim—Religious people also ought to examine themselves to figure out as an important component of the society how they also miss the mark.

John S Mbiti in his book African Religions and Philosophy, 1969, says, “Africans are notoriously religious,” suggesting that religion in Africa penetrates all aspects of people’s lives including politics and leadership among other things.

In olden days, the nations’ leadership would consult God through religious leaders to ask for a way forward. Overlooking its correctness to all religions, what is striking the most was the consciousness of religion or rather God’s involvement in daily activities. Religion is more than just a set of beliefs agreed upon by certain individuals to worship a supernatural being, it goes further into the lives of individuals and dictate how they should eat, dress or even carry themselves in and around the community the community. It answers to the questions that no one can give, questions like why we die, what will happen after death, and gives hope to a despairing human race.

During Biblical times, the state leaders would consult God’s prophets on how they should execute their plans and depended on Him for a final decision through his holy prophets. In the first Chimurenga liberation struggle, spirit mediums were consulted consulted to make a breakthrough. It may have been a different method all together from the Biblical method, but the idea of a Supreme being, who is concerned with our daily activities and touched with our predicaments is the one that is crucial.

A dreadful account is recorded in the Bible, Joshua chapter 7, of Achan, a man who disobeyed God’s biddings and hurled the entire nation into a traumatic crisis. Shocking to the core of any reader’s brains is that one man’s sin caused suffering for the entire nation. Lives were lost, Israel suffered a terrible and shameful defeat from the heathen nation named Ai.

The Question is, could it be because of an Achan that the entire nation is suffering economically? If it is because of an Achan, who is the Achan? Is it a political individual or it is a religious individual? Is it because the religious people are hiding behind faith while truth is sacrificed every day at the altar of lies. Is it because the religious leaders have forgotten their role of praying for the country’s leadership and for a smooth running of the economy in the country to backup the political decisions made in parliament and in meetings. Is it because there is too much sins in the country that all efforts to get back to ‘Africa’s basket’ seem to be fruitless? Is it because the state does not have a religious leader to consult God on behalf of the state? Is there hope for Zimbabwe after all?

Zimbabwe is one of the most religious countries. According to the Religion in Zimbabwe’s 2012 statistics, about 84% of the country’s population belongs to various religious groups.

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