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Archbishop Encourages Zimbabwean Anglican Church to Develop 'Independent Voice' on Human Rights

Wednesday 7th March 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Archbishop Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central Africa, have held a meeting with Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, Anglican Bishop of Harare.

The meeting took place today [March 7th, 2007] in South Africa.

The two Primates issued a joint statement at its conclusion:

"We are grateful for the chance to meet face to face and discuss the role of the Church in Zimbabwe and the wider region in working towards the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.

"We shared our deep concerns with the Bishop of Harare about the situation in Zimbabwe, affirming those places where Anglican ministries are bearing fruit and the church is growing, but also expressing the widespread concerns in the global church and in the international community about the deteriorating economic life of Zimbabwe and issues of human rights and peaceful non-partisan protest.

"We encouraged the development of an independent voice for the Church in response to these challenges. All ministers of the gospel must be free to serve and to speak for the needs of those most deprived and disadvantaged.

"We want to find new channels of communication and to facilitate regional conversations about issues of development and justice, including the impact of sanctions, so that Anglicans may work together more effectively with and for the poor whom they serve in Christ's name."

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