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THE Church must immediately reinforce the spiritual and unifying role in order to galvanise Zambians into loving and forgiving each other.

It is indisputable that the country is balkanised into bitter political entities at the time love and unity should have been sustained to the core.

The voice of the Church has not been strong enough to stave off negative tribal and political undertones that have dominated the public discourse.

Worse still, politically inclined Church leaders have further polarised the political space with highly inflammatory and biased sentiments.

Thus the voice of the Church must reverberate during this festive period and give direction to the nation towards unity, love and tolerance.

The festive period is an opportunity for the Body of Christ to bring together political foes at various levels because hatred, anger and tension have permeated all strata of society.

Clearly, the manifestation at the top political leadership is representative of the feelings among political membership at the lowest level.

This is because party members at the grassroots pick a leaf from the top leadership with whom they associate.

Therefore, this is the opportune time for the Church to appeal to the moral and spiritual conscience of the masses for peace, love and co-existence.

The recent events in Lusaka in which two people were shot dead must serve as an early warning, requiring a paradigm shift in both policing and political processions.

It is only through a spiritual and morally upright Church intervention that political and national healing will succeed.

There must never be divergent views among Church leaders on how to deal with the current political malaise.

The Evangelical Church in Zambia, Council of Churches in Zambia, and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops must remain steadfast and give proper guidance to the political leaders and the general citizenry.

The Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) too should join the fray.

Individual congregations that do not belong to the mother bodies, must also continue preaching the message of peace and love during and after the festive period.

Christmas is a perfect opportunity for this national assignment because it is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ who himself was sent to the world to reconcile humankind to the Almighty God.

This must be the reference point!

Jesus was prophesied to come and heal humankind in Isaiah 53: 3-5

‘He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and held him in low esteem.

‘Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’

Thus Zambians must embrace humility, love and unity as demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ during his three-year ministry.

The citizens must henceforth remove the glass-ceiling that has been created on political lines.

Leaders in both the ruling party and opposition must immediately withdraw toxic undertones and espouse a more healing and uniting disposition.

The Church, therefore, must lead the way!

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