The government of Zimbabwe is calling for prayers to help rid the country of homosexuality. It’s just another problem for the country that faces food shortages, famine, crippling inflation and corruption.
In a letter published Thursday in the government newspaper, The Herald, Christians were asked to pray for the country as it endures calls for homosexuality to be de-criminalized.
“Brothers and sisters, bishops, pastors and the whole Christian community in Jesus Christ, Zimbabwe needs our prayers more than ever before, given the unprecedented violence and the myopic call for support of gay and lesbian rights,” the letter began.
“May the name of the Almighty God be praised and glorified forever for awarding us such a beautiful country with vast natural resources and may those who campaign for the evil, such as gay rights, be condemned in the name of God,” the letter continued.
The letter comes days after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai denied allegations that he was supporting gay rights when he called for equal treatment of minorities.
“I raised the issue of minority rights,” spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told reporters, “and minority groups in this country mean cultural minorities, ethnic minorities and religious minorities, and we even have political minorities."
“That’s all we meant. We are surprised that the ZANU-PF propaganda machinery wants to belittle the rights of the minority by trying to say these are gay rights," Mwonzora said.
Demographically, homosexuals are a severe minority in Zimbabwe.
The southern African nation has both a Prime Minister and President. Tsvangirai, who lead the Movement for Democratic Change party to an election victory in 2008 amidst violence, shares executive duties with long-time president Robert Mugabe – a member of the ZANU-PF party.
Mugabe has called homosexual acts, such as holding hands and kissing, un-Christian and un-African. Certain acts are punishable by death.
The country is facing a water and food shortage that threatens to cripple a population that is already fighting off a typhoid outbreak. AIDS has taken a major toll on the population and the average life expectancy for men and women in Zimbabwe is now around 44.
Zimbabwe’s infrastructure is one of the worst in the world. Also, with inflation rates reaching a peak of 11.2 million percent in 2008, the federal bank issued a $100 billion note.
Around 85 percent of Zimbabweans are Christians, which is typical of a southern African nation.