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The Interplay between the Christian Sacralization of Human Authority and Political Repression in Zimbabwe

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The reigning scandal in Zimbabwe is the simultaneous growth of Christianity and political repression, begging one to wonder why increased Christian presence has not resulted in social and political transformation. The answer can be found in the Christian sacralization of human authority and the uncritical interpretation of Romans 13:1–5 common in some leading churches. The resulting uncritical submission to repressive authority of the "anointed men of God" and the fear of holding them accountable for their questionable leadership has incapacitated Christians to challenge and address this growing political repression. Furthermore, the Christian leaders who have sacralized their authority have been in the forefront of the legitimization of President Robert Mugabe's repressive rule. Robert Mugabe has been presented as the anointed leader of Zimbabwe who should be submitted to at all costs. To promote democracy and good governance, the church must shift her paradigm to be inclusive of the full counsel of Scripture. By desacralizing human authority the church will empower the Christian community to hold church and political leaders accountable for their abuse of power. This is necessary if the African Renaissance's quest for African human legitimacy is to be realised.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Systematic Theology and Theological Ethics, University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, UNISA 0003

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