Since the October visit of Archbishop Williams was announced, there have been further developments in Zimbabwe.
Highlands Police today (Tuesday 6 September 2011) arrested Reverend Julius Zimbudzana, the priest in charge at St Mary’s Anglican Church for allegedly taking over Anglican church property worth over US$1.5 million as police intensified their persecution of the Anglican Church, hiding behind unjust court rulings.
Dr Nicholas Chad Gandiya, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare in the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) immediately dismissed the charge as persecution of the Anglicans under the CPCA by the police, acting on the instructions of the ex-communicated Dr Nolbert Kunonga.
“That [accusation against Revd Julius] is unfounded, baseless and without foundation,” Bishop Gandiya said. “This is very strange indeed as no parish in our diocese (perhaps the exception of the Cathedral Parish) has properties worth that much. He has been refused bail. The police claim they have clear instructions not to release him…”
Church of England Newspaper Harare eviction order appealed
SW Radio Africa via AllAfrica.com Anglican Priest Arrested By Police in Highlands
New Zimbabwe Archbishop of Canterbury to meet Mugabe
The Church Times has this report: Zimbabwe: priest arrested for ‘taking’ his own parish which also includes this:
…The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, has recently returned from a trip to the diocese of Harare, which has a link with Rochester.
Bishop Langstaff attended a diocesan conference with clergy, and said that it was a “slightly surreal experience, as off-stage we knew clergy were routinely being persecuted” and churches’ property being dispossessed. “Gradually, all of the clergy will be ousted from their own property. But, although Kunonga has the buildings, he has no people. He is only interested in making money.
“Congregations are now meeting in borrowed premises and tents, and are growing. I went to one church meeting in a tent. There was a very positive atmosphere, and people feel they are growing spiritually and are more committed — and feel good will come out of it. The congregations are in really good heart, but are concerned for their clergy.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will find his followers dismayed and a Church in chaos when he visits next month…
And the Telegraph has an editorial column: Christian courageous
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is right to expose himself to risk by visiting Zimbabwe, where many Christians practise their faith in fear, and meeting its President, Robert Mugabe…