Action urged on Zimbabwe crisis

Australian church leaders commit to pray and urge action on deepening Zimbabwe crisis

From the National Council of Churches in Australia, 25 April 2008

The Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Uniting Church and National Council of Churches in Australia support the call by the religious leaders of Zimbabwe for immediate international action to prevent an imminent crisis in Zimbabwe. We express our deep concern over the deteriorating political, security, economic and human rights situation in Zimbabwe following the 29 March 2008 national elections and the failure of the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to release the results of the Presidential election.

As religious leaders in Australia we support the appeal this week from religious leaders in Zimbabwe which:

  • warns the world that if nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe from their predicament, we shall soon be witnessing atrocities similar to that experienced in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi;
  • calls for the immediate end to political intimidation arising from the desire to influence how people will vote in the anticipated run-off in the presidential poll;
  • calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the true results of the presidential poll of 29 March 2008 without further delay; and
  • commends the people of Zimbabwe for exercising their democratic right peacefully and urging them to maintain and protect their dignity and their vote.

We also:

  • commit ourselves, and encourage all churches in Australia, to pray and increase our support for the people of Zimbabwe (the churches, with their considerable networks across Zimbabwe, are one of the vital networks in getting assistance to those most effected by the economic and political crisis).
  • call on the Australian Government to provide additional emergency assistance in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country.

Archbishop Philip Wilson, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Primate, Anglican Church of Australia
The Revd Gregor Henderson, President, Uniting Church in Australia
The Revd John Henderson, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia

For Further Information

Mr Alistair Gee, Executive Director, NCCA Christian World Service, 0417 672 650
Archbishop Philip Wilson, President, ACBC, 0417 284 831
Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Primate, Anglican Church of Australia, 0420 970 606