Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba has blasted the head of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Kenneth Mutata, for being hypocritical by spurning the government decision on Wednesday to allow those who have been fully vaccinated to attend church services as he has been vaccinated.
Mutata is the secretary general of the ZCC as well as its umbrella organisation the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations which groups together the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa.
In a statement in response to the government’s decision to allow only those vaccinated to attend church services, ZHOCD said it will be difficult for the Church to deny people to receive the means of grace simply because they have not been vaccinated when access to this vaccination is restricted.
“The Churches cautiously appreciate the process of opening up of society, business, and public life after almost two years of restrictions because of COVID-19. Though welcome by the Churches, this staggered opening of Churches on the condition of being vaccinated raises both theological and practical challenges,” ZHOCD said.
“Theologically, the Church is an open and welcoming space for everyone with no restrictions. No one qualifies for Church service as it is a place of God’s grace. The Church will find it very difficult to turn people home because they do not have a vaccination certificate. However, would it be responsible to meet in an uncontrolled environment where possibilities of spreading the virus are high?…..
“Practically, less than 10 percent of the population has been vaccinated. There is a group of citizens that does not get vaccinated due to age or because they have not yet had a chance to be vaccinated. It will be difficult for the Church to deny people to receive the means of grace simply because they have not been vaccinated when access to this vaccination is restricted.”
ZHOCD said that the Ministry of Health and Child Care should provide the detailed protocol for reopening Churches clarifying all the grey areas such as how the licence affects those below the age of 18 who are not being vaccinated.
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