Christians in Zambia have declared they will march Thursday in the capital city to pressure the government to clearly state that homosexuality is not tolerated in the country and should not be protected by the new Zambian constitution, according to local reports.
The march, organized by Christian NGO Zambia Rainbow Coalition, will reportedly take place in Lusaka. Zambia Rainbow Coalition has also called for including a clause in the constitution that would explicitly define marriage as a union between a man and a women, which would presumably exclude the possibility of introducing same-sex marriage at any time, reported Zambia Watchdog.
Zambia is a mostly Christian nation, with the Christian community being very vocal in opposing gay rights or even tolerating homosexuality.
“This [homosexuality] is a new concept to our culture which Zambians will not entertain as in Zambia we do not even have local terminology for homosexuality,” Rainbow Coalition director of programs Malekano Mwanza told Zambia Watchdog.
In 2009, Zambia’s then-president, Rupiah Banda, said that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation should be retained in the Republican constitution.
The current president, Michael Sata, leader of the Patriotic Front (PF) party, has been criticized by Christian leaders for not taking a firm enough position on opposing homosexuality.
Although international statistics on religion in Zambia are not clean-cut, Christians are constitute between 50 and 75 percent of the population, according to data from the C.I.A. Muslims and Hindus compose the second largest group at 24 to 49 percent, with 1 percent of the population said to have indigenous beliefs.
The Zambia Rainbow Coalition reportedly called all Christians concerned about “the Satanism which is about to engulf the country” to march on Thursday. Mwanza reportedly said the organization is demanding for the government to “clearly and categorically state its position, amidst increasing international pressure to introduce homosexual rights in Zambia.”
Mwanza reportedly emphasized that, historically, Christianity has been Zambia’s identity, and that “in any democratic dispensation the Constitution is for the majority of the citizens without discriminating or sidelining the minority as is the case with the current constitution.”