Promoting peace during the national elections

Community , Faith , Elections , Peace , Church

As South Africa approaches a critical election this coming May, the church has an essential role to play in promoting peace and tolerance. This is the message from Rev. Mzwandile Molo, the Acting General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

“As South Africa prepares for its democratic process, churches are uniquely positioned to foster an environment of reconciliation and understanding,” says Molo.

The effect of violent and divisive rhetoric from political leaders has resulted in destruction to lives, property and livelihoods in the past, even recently during terrible events like the June 2021 riots.

Heartlines CEO Dr Garth Japhet says this has had an especially devastating impact on the poor and marginalised in our society. “This serves no one other than the selfish interests of those who seek power for themselves, and we know that there is a better way for us to engage with one another,” he adds.

The church has in the past stood against calls for violence and those who seek to foster divisions between people from different political parties, race and ethnicities, and it is now doing so again by promoting tolerance and peace. The SACC is calling on all South Africans to stand up against those who would pit us against each other.

“That path leads only to destruction for us, our families, communities, country, and our future. Not in our name!” says Molo.

Japhet says that our differences are not a reason to divide us, but offer a chance for us to consider one another with respect and understanding. Heartlines uses story-sharing in its programmes as a first step towards breaking down the misconceptions and prejudices that divide us. This helps to build greater understanding, cohesion, trust and reconciliation.

If you are a Christian and are looking for more ways to get involved in helping to promote peace ahead of the election, Impact Radio and GrootFM are hosting a number of prayer initiatives. 

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