Friday, May 22, 2009

Zimbabwe diocese breaks chains of dictatorship

For Anglicans in the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, Holy Week and Eastertide have been a time of new beginnings, and interim Bishop Sebastian Bakare has a bag of chains in his office as proof.
The chains, now broken, once locked the doors to the Harare cathedral preventing Anglicans from worshipping in their church. Bakare led worship in the cathedral on Easter Sunday for the first time since coming to the diocese in December 2007. It was, he told Episcopal News Service, "our resurrection Sunday."

That feeling of new life continues to deepen in the embattled diocese that is recovering from the effects of Bishop Nolbert Kunonga's episcopacy and finding ways to minister in a country being ruined by a dictatorial president.

The Rev. Canon Chad Nicholas Gandiya, Africa regional desk officer for USPG: Anglicans in Mission, was elected May 2 to be the diocese's next bishop, and on May 26, the Zimbabwe high court will hear arguments in the long-standing dispute over who owns the diocese's assets.

Kunonga was deposed in 2007 after illegally separating from the Anglican Province of Central Africa and installing himself as archbishop of Zimbabwe. He had said that he left because the province failed to condemn the ordination of homosexual bishops, an excuse that Ruth Bakare called a "pretext" and a "gimmick."

Kunonga is an avid supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has let the country slide into ruin during his 28-year rule. Kunonga has also supported the intimidation and persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe for opposing his and Mugabe's leadership.

More here-

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