Zimbabwean Churches Band to Aid Demolition Victims

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An alliance of church groups in Zimbabwe is forming to aid victims of the government’s “drive out trash” campaign that the United Nations estimates has cost 700,000 Zimbabweans their homes or livelihoods or both.

“Churches have formed a broad-based ecumenical body in the aftermath of the clean-up operation,” Rev. Charles Muchechetere of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe told Ecumenical News International, the Geneva-based religious news agency.

In addition to EFZ, the coalition includes the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference.

The government says the clean-up campaign was designed to clear slums and to eliminate the informal markets in the country’s cities.

Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches has been attempting since Aug. 1 to send 37 tons of food to Zimbabwe, but the Zimbabwean government has refused to let the food in. It says it needs assurances that none of the food is from genetically modified crops.

The church leaders met with South African government officials Aug. 9 to press the government both to help in getting the food aid into Zimbabwe and also to put pressure on Zimbabwe to end the crisis. “I do not need to remind you that the consequences of a meltdown in Zimbabwe will actually be disastrous for the whole of southern Africa,” said Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Capetown, South Africa. (RNS)

Two men showing the evangelistic JESUS film in Bangladesh were stabbed to death by intruders who broke into their rental house July 29. Lipial Marandi, 21, and Tapan Kumar Roy, 27, worked for Christian Life Bangladesh, which partners with the U.S.-based Campus Crusade for Christ. Police have arrested two men in connection with the killings. Marandi and Roy had been in Faridpur for eight months conducting health-awareness programs and showing the two-hour film based on the gospel of Luke. (RNS)

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