Council of Churches – News Release
Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release – 17/06/2008 11:44:16
PRAY FOR ZIMBABWE, WCC INVITES CHURCHES WORLDWIDE
Churches worldwide are being invited to celebrate a day of prayer for Zimbabwe on Sunday, 22 June, as the beginning of a season of prayer for the people and government of the African country, which is facing a critical time.
The day of prayer for Zimbabwe, which is an initiative of Christians in the country, will take place shortly before the runoff election for the presidency scheduled for Friday, 27 June.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this election, its fairness, its outcome and its aftermath”, affirms the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia in a letter to the WCC member churches. “Events in the coming weeks will challenge the people of Zimbabwe and the world to find means of overcoming violence in the exercise of democracy, and the results will influence the future of the nation and the region”, he adds.
Full text of the invitation letter from:
Letter on Zimbabwe to WCC member churches
Beloved friends in Christ,
At the initiative of brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, we in the World Council of Churches invite you to join us in observing Sunday 22 June 2008 as the beginning of a season of prayer for the people and government of Zimbabwe.
On Friday 27 June 2008, the citizens of Zimbabwe will return to polling booths to cast ballots in a runoff election for the presidency. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this election, its fairness, its outcome and its aftermath. Events in the coming weeks will challenge the people of Zimbabwe and the world to find means of overcoming violence in the exercise of democracy, and the results will influence the future of the nation and the region.
On Sunday 22 June we request churches to observe a day of prayer for Zimbabwe; on that Sunday, and in the days that follow, we ask you to join millions of Christians throughout the world as we lift up Zimbabwe and its people to the Lord, ask God’s blessing and pray that peace may prevail. We offer the following prayer as a petition to God for the people of Zimbabwe.
In your sight nations rise and fall, and pass through times of trial.
We pray with and for Zimbabwe in this hour of national decision,
and we ask your divine blessing on all the people of the land.
May Zimbabwe’s leaders seek justice by means that are just;
May the voters take action to promote the common good;
may international observers and mediators be guided by your wisdom.
Lead us not into temptation, Lord, and deliver your people from evil:
Empower us all to overcome anger, jealousy, division and violence;
help us to respect one another despite our differences;
and teach us the things that truly make for peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Through this and other prayerful actions, we will continue to support the people of Zimbabwe through the days and weeks ahead. In the love and unity of the triune God, we thank you for joining in this season of prayer.
Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.
The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.