President Lazarus Chakwera says churches should not use the state as a weapon to harass people who have different views on moral and social issues.
Chakwera made the remarks this morning when he presided over ground-breaking ceremony of the construction of Malawi Assemblies of God Church headquarters in Lilongwe.
The Malawi leader, who used to be president of the Malawi Assemblies of God Church and remains an ordained minister of the church, said practicing one’s faith is not a licence for depriving other people of their freedom.
“All faith bodies should exercise their constitutional right to enjoy freedom of worship and conscious without harassing others who do not share their conviction on moral and social issues and without using the state as a weapon for harassing them,” said Chakwera.
He also appealed to faith groups to take a lead in the fight against corruption by practicing their faith’s values and tenets at home, at work and whenever seeking government service.
Chakwera noted that people who seek bribes and public servants who steal government funds are also members of faith bodies.
“If every church-going Malawian refused to cut corners or take bribes or pay bribes, Malawi would have the cleanest government on earth and live up to its aspiration to be a God-fearing country,” said Chakwera.
The president in his speech described churches as institutions that sustains unity and the moral fabric of society. He promised churches that his government will support them with policies and incentives that enable the faith groups to continue being a partner for government in the work of serving Malawians.
On the head office, Chakwera congratulated the church for being self-sustaining by depending on contributions from its membership. He added that the building will add beauty to the city of Lilongwe
Speaking earlier, deputy president of the church, Rev Dr Benito Chisamba said President Lazarus Chakwera needs divine cover and protection and needs to operate with divine wisdom.
He assured Chakwera that the church will continue praying for the president and the Tonse Alliance Administration.
“We assure you sir, that we will be the unseen army of prayer warriors on your behalf,” says deputy president of the church, Rev Dr Benito Chisamba.
The five-storey head office of the Malawi Assemblies of God Church is expected to cost K800 million. President Chakwera today donated K2 million towards construction of the church.