Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Corruption rife in the church-Fr.Luonde
By Roy Habaalu
Sun 26 Jan. 2014, 09:20 CAT

CORRUPTION is rife in the church, says Fr Richard Luonde.
Fr Luonde, a Kitwe-based Anglican priest, says most clergy lived beyond their means, raising suspicion on how they acquired what they have. He said corruption was not only in the secular world but also in churches.

"Corruption is everywhere, even in families, so the church cannot be excluded. If you carried out a thorough investigation on the happenings in the church today, you will be shocked because the church has become so secular in certain areas such that you fail to understand if we are still prophesying the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Fr Luonde said.

"Nobody is speaking out on the corruption in the church. Corruption is also found in the church and the levels of living for ministers in the church leave much to be desired and if they are living comfortably than anyone else, it means someone with whom they run the church have taken advantage of the congregation."

Fr Luonde said the church had not been transparent in its financial dealings.
He wondered how some church leaders were living lavish lives while followers remained poverty stricken.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy, a lot of judging others before judging ourselves. Some churches, the way they are established and their guidelines and programmes, leave a lot to be desired. In certain churches you would find a bishop driven in a posh vehicle with bodyguards; why should you have bodyguards? Some of them are as poor as the church mouse. Now if we call ourselves Christians, why should me as a bishop or a church leader drive a very expensive vehicle while my flock and pastors or reverends languish in poverty? That is corruption.

If you can amass such wealth to buy an expensive vehicle and build a mansion while your ministers and church members are in a grass-thatched house, how did you acquire that wealth? It means it was acquired at the expense of the church because when we talk about equality and being equal before Jesus Christ, the difference should not be so huge that in the same environment, others should live comfortably whilst others are suffering. But this is happening in the church today," Fr Luonde said.

He said it was hypocritical for the church to call others to virtues that they themselves do not practice.

"If we cry for a people-driven constitution in Zambia, we should also cry for a people-driven regulatory framework within the church. The Ten Commandments should apply to all, including church leaders. We should begin to regulate the way we run and conduct church affairs. So corruption is not only in the secular world; it's also in church and this must be fought," said Fr Luonde.

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