Mansa Riots

The fact that the church leaders in Mansa have not come up with a collective position on the riots that have rocked the district because of rumors that a certain section of business people wanted to engage in ritualistic murders of children in order to improve theirbusiness raises serious concerns about the role of the church in our communities. Here is an opportunity for the church in Mansa to take a biblical and prophetic role on this issue and offer solutions based on the Bible. Isn’t the church called to be salt and light in a corrupt and evil world? For example does the church believe that the several business people who have worked hard for so many years to build their businesses to what they are today grew their business through satanic activities? Or could this be a matter of the sickness of the majority of Zambian people that view anyone who creates wealth to be involved in satanic activities? Or is this a matter of people who are hungry and angry and are looking for an excuse to breed destruction?

Whatever the case, the church urgently needs to take up a biblical position on such issues as witchcraft, child abuse, youth unemployment, poverty and false teachings. In our nation today we have a certain section of our church that teaches that you’re not responsible for anything that happens around you. This church always blames the people in the past and around us for inability to move forward. Yes, a corrupt government leadership or a father who did not lay up a good foundation for his children bear some responsibility for our inability to move forward. But there comes a time when each individual must take responsibility for his actions. In Ezekiel we learn that no longer will people in Israel quote the proverb, “The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But, “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son” (Ez. 18:2, 20).

The majority of the people involved in the looting and riotous actions in Mansa were youths. Youths represent one of the greatest challenges and greatest unmet met needs in the community today. Churches need to drastically change their ministry approach in order to address the needs of youth or they will soon be greater crisis in our nation. Churches must start providing platforms at which they will invite the youths to deliberate on the problems facing them and challenge them to propose solutions. As the elderly listen intently, they then need to come up with ministries that will disciple, train and prepare the youth to take their places of leadership. The secular world is not ready to pass on the button to the young. As a church we should resist the secular thinking that youths are leaders of tomorrow. The Bible is full of examples of youths who provided leadership and helped redeem nations. Joseph, Joshua and Daniel are powerful examples of such youths.

How rooted are your youths in matters of faith. If this rumor about ritualistic killing was heard by your church youths how would they have acted? Would they have participated in the looting? Would they have gone to God in prayer and asked for Him to expose evil? Would they have gone to the police because they understand that the police are God’s servant to punish wrong doing? In this season when we share in the victory over death, may Christians never be part of any activity that breeds violence and murder. Peace be with you. The Lord has risen. Amen.

Lawrence Temfwe

(Speaking to Samfya Pastors)