She said that Muslims were not included in the national prayers, as confusion would reign if other religious groups were invited to a Christian event. These remarks were made on Wednesday during a press conference organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Zambian paper ‘Diggers.news‘ covered it.
The National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister of Zambia was quoted by the paper as saying:
“The President Announced the national day of prayer fasting and repentance [but] the only thing is that when we meet as Christians in one place and then we say ‘Hindus come’ I think there will be confusion, but they are free to meet on their own on this day, honour this day and pray. So that’s the only reasons. So really it’s an arrangement that we want to worship God in the way that we are accustomed to.
She also warned people from politicizing the prayer event saying that 90% of Zambia is Christian and that the people needed to honour their creator. She said:
“And these national prayers, we should not politicize these prayers. 90 percent of Zambians are Christians and we need to honour our creators. God answers prayers and we have seen it happening I think in 2016 when we had a drought and all the African countries in the southern region were affected by that. As Zambia we let the prayers to pray for the rains and we saw what happened. We had the rains and we had a bumper harvest and we started feeding all these other countries surrounding us. So we cannot trivialize prayer, we cannot politicize prayer because we honour and fear God.”
It should be noted here that there is only one country in sub-Saharan Africa is officially Christian: Zambia. Only 1 percent of the population is Hindu or Christian in the total population of a population of 11.5 million (2000 census). Hindus and Muslims of Zambia both are mostly of South Asian descent and Christian religion instructions are freely available in public schools but not for any other religion.
Zambia is deeply religious and in January this year, it even declared seven days of fasting and prayer during the fight against the cholera epidemic. The fasting period began from January 15 to Monday, January 22 in a bid to Kick out Cholera from Zambia.
She had also called upon every Zambian to offer 30 Minutes of Prayer for 7 days to help Curch fight the Cholera Epidemic with prayers.
The Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs said: “Servants of the Most High God. A 7 day fast has been declared starting from Monday the 15th of January to Monday the 22nd of January. It is a Nationwide fasting and prayer to Kick out Cholera. We are standing on 2nd Chronicles 7:14, Daniel 9:3-23 and Is 1:19. Every Zambian is called upon to offer 30 mins of prayer for 7 days. Prayer points will be circulated. Church Mother bodies will send circulars to their members. ZNBC and Radio Christian Voice will carry out live prayers at the watch of the hour led by servants of God i.e 6, 9, 12, 15, 18. Let us pray for the success of this program.”