Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oppression of the Aliens and Outcasts

Last night police raided the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg and arrested 'illegal aliens' from Zimbabwe who were staying in the Church. Bishop Paul Verryn confirmed that the police raids were conducted without a warrant and that their raids caused damage to Church property and chaos among the refugees.

So here is a Zimbabwean perspective:
Pamela said...
I am a Zimbabwean legally in South Africa and it breaks my heart. We have been reduced to beggars. We are constantly referred to as "aliens". In that church there were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children who have done nothing wrong but to seek refuge in the house of the Lord. Nothing was being done in secret everyone knew of the existence of Zimbabwean refuges at the Methodist Church. By taking this action the South African Police have shown the stand of the government on the mess that Zimbabwe has been reduced to. They are in denial of the suffering of the people. The church is under a biblical mandate to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. It is a mandate from God and I don't care that the government may not subscribe to the authority of God but I and a whole lot of other people do. What has been done is to stomp upon holy ground rip people out of their place of safety and throw them right back into danger of starvation and potential violence. The state has trespassed big time. Let me address the issue from a language that the state understands. We speak of the Bible they speak of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Their supreme document states that Citizens have the right to religion. Christian religion demands shelter and food for those in need. The church was exercising its right under the Constitution, its mandate from God and the urge of any sound human heart to help and the response of the state is to damage property and sanctity. It is a disgrace.

This sounds so familiar - just like the Apartheid world that I grew up in.


digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

Hi Pete,

Thanks for this. It is very sad indeed. We shall be visiting over the weekend with some of our students...

You can listen to a reflection of this in a podcast that Paul Oosthuizen and I did this morning after our chapel service.

Check it out here.

With you in Christ,


rebecca said...

there is alot going on over there in Africa.

in my prayers Pete.