Archbishop Of Canterbury Blocked From Entering Church

Williams was on a visit to Manicaland where he met Church of the Province of Central Africa worshipers who were kicked out from worshiping in Anglican Church building because they are aligned to the Chad Gandiya faction.

Williams met about 5000 worshipers at Mutare show grounds who had come to welcome him to Manicaland.

Placard waiving Kunonga supporters where denouncing Williams for supporting homosexuality in the church. Some of the placards read “Gandiya, Makoni and Bakare how can you invite homosexual in our soil?,”  “Manicaland Diocese says no to homosexuality and “Williams go and read Romans 1 verse 26 and 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9”.

“They condone homosexuality and we are saying let’s stand together and say no to that because it’s not biblical,” said Reverand Dean Mwando of the Anglican Cathedral.

Another woman, Virginia Kasipa, who was demonstrating said they stand by the word of God which does not allow homosexuality.

“We as Christians stand by the word of God and these are our principles, Williams supports gay marriages and this is against the Bible, we do not fellowship with such kind of people,” said Kasipa.

From the Anglican Cathedral in the city centre Williams visited St Augustine’s Mission School which is 20 kilometres north of Mutare where Kunonga’s supporters where in hot pursuit again.

The boom gate at the mission school was locked and Williams and his entourage had to leave their cars outside the gate and force their way into the school yard. They again were not allowed into the church at St Augustines. Williams only managed to have a few photos taken outside the church and had a few prayers at the Anglican nun’s premises.

Williams’s entourage included Archbishop Albert Chama, Bishop Julius Makoni, Bishop Trevor Mwamba from Botswana and bishop Gandiya.

Williams on Monday told President Robert Mugabe to help stop the persecution of his flock in the country as the break-away faction is blocking members of the church from gathering and praying in the church properties.

“We have asked, in the clearest possible terms, that the President use his powers as Head of State to put an end to all unacceptable and illegal behaviour.

Since 2007 Anglican congregations in Zimbabwe have suffered serious persecution at the hands of the police, they have been intimidated, their churches have been closed,” Dr Williams said at the State House after meeting Mugabe were he gave the 87 year old leader a dossier of the problems facing his church in the country.

“Properties,including schools and clinics, have been seized. As represantatives of the Anglican Communion, and with the support of ecumenical friends worldwide, we strongly and unequivocally support the efforts of ordinary Anglicans to worship in peace and to minister to the spiritual and material needs of their communities.”

Dr Williams held a two hour meeting with Mugabe at the State House with his delegation that includes the Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Albert Chama. Mugabe did not speak to the press after his meeting with Williams.

The Anglican head later met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during the evening at the premier’s residence. After the meeting the top cleric said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Tsvangirai saying he hopes that there will be peace in the church in the country and that the police will play their role of ensuring that there won’t be any violent disturbances.
“We have indeed been discussing the challenges facing the Anglican church  and the urgent need for the church , our own Anglican church have to feel secure and to feel that they are protected by the law, and a non-partisan police,” he said.
“We deeply deplore the manner in which many of the historic assets of the church that include hospitals, schools have not only been seized by the breakaway group but are no longer being used for the purpose for which they were designed.”
Tsvangirai thanked the Archbishop for meeting him saying that the government of Zimbabwe will ensure that a solution will be found to resolve the disturbances that the Anglican Church has been facing in the last years.
“I hope that we will find a solution to this, people are suffering needlessly,” Tsvangirai said.
“I remember cabinet made that decision very clearly that when it comes to praying the State has no role in the church but to protect people when they do pray. The church has played very productive and prominent roles over the last 100 years in this country. It is unfortunate that this very well documented record is being besmirched by unnecessary conflict that may arise as a result of personal interests.”
Williams will leave the country on Tuesday on his way to Zambia. He said he came to Zimbabwe not to meet with the break-away head bishop Nolbert Kunonga confirming that Kunonga had been excommunicated from the main church
long back.