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Celebrating religious freedom

Celebrating religious freedom

More than 4,000 Seventh-day Adventist youth marched from Harare city center to join over 30,000 Adventists at Glamis stadium to celebrate religious liberty in Zimbabwe on June 21. The Zimbabwe prisons band played for the Pathfinders who carried banners reading “Celebrating Religious Liberty in Zimbabwe.”

The Guest of Honor, Minister of State in The President’s office Harare Province, Cde Miriam Chikukwa, spoke on government’s commitment to protect the constitution that guarantees religious liberty. She said that the government would not hesitate to arrest those who perpetrate violence in the name of religion.

The function was organized by the East Zimbabwe Conference, which falls under the Zimbabwe Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists.

They are 860,000 Adventists in Zimbabwe. The Church runs 142 primary and secondary schools, orphanages, clinics and a university. The Adventist Church began in Zimbabwe in 1894 near Bulawayo and has continued to grow to current levels enjoying support and protection from the government.

Some of the dignitaries that attended the event included Zimbabwe Union Conference President Mica Choga, the ZUC Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director B. Hall, the provincial head for Religious Liberty in Harare Dr. Chisango and several senior government officials.

Paul Charles, Communication director for the denomination’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, told the gathering that the purpose of the function was for the Seventh-day Adventists to express their profound appreciation to the government of Zimbabwe for the religious freedom the church was enjoying. He urged the Adventists to respect those from other religions and denominations.

“The reason why we love each other, even though we do not know each other is that in you I see the image of God and in me you see the image of God,” Charles said.