KwaZulu-Natal Church Leaders Group (KZNCLG) 16th April 2019
To All Church Leaders and the Entire People of God
We, the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders released a Pastoral letter on the 31st of October 2018 at Diakonia in Durban. Therein we lamented the escalation of violence and killings with specific reference to the alleged “politically motivated” killings in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Now as we celebrate the holiest time in the Christian calendar, we take the opportunity to once again implore the people of our Province to join us in supporting all peace initiatives being made by all sectors of civil society, the churches and those engaged in the ecumenical and interfaith movements. As Easter leads us to the 8th May 2019 general elections, let us exhaust all avenues as we strive to live the principles of tolerance and peace.
We invite all people of goodwill to celebrate principal message given by Jesus after his resurrection: Peace be with you! of Jesus. It is his Resurrection that reinforces the values and fruits of peace: faith, compassion, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude and hope. Jesus himself sums up the message of Easter with these words: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, do I give to you … (Jn. 14: 27).
With this kind of peace the KZNCLG asks you to give this peace to everyone and to let it go on beyond the National and Provincial elections of the 8th May 2019. We implore the People of God, to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15).
In some of our past elections which we monitored and observed, we noted that the Province was showing signs of political maturity on the part of both the political parties and the electorate. Somehow we have slipped from that commendable tolerance, to the current situation characterized by intra-party scuffles, which so easily degenerate into political violence. Whereas what we need is mutual acceptance built on the “principles of peace” and communal stability. As we walk the “via dolorosa” (the way of the cross) towards the Resurrection we implore all the Churches to pray for peace in our province, our country and indeed all the world.
We share with our Catholic brothers and sisters in their deep pain as they begin this Holy week with the extremely heavy burden of witnessing the destruction by fire of the 850 old Norte Dame Cathedral, a most sacred place of worship in Paris. Let us pray for Pope Francis and the entire Catholic community in France and indeed in the world.
May God Bless our country and us, its people as we celebrate Easter in the hope that God will endow us with wisdom and dedication as we seek to apply the “Principles of peace”, which will hopefully lead us towards a free, fair, credible and integral 2019 General elections on the 8th of May 2018.
KZN Church Leaders Group
Chair: Cardinal Napier.