Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - Financial autonomy of the churches in Africa and economic development of the African populations are the two complementary realities widely discussed in the XVIII Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), which concluded on July 29 in Uganda (see Fides, 22 July 2019).
"More than a conviction, today it is a necessity to have churches in Africa that enjoy full financial autonomy and are able to work for the economic development of its people", says Father Donald Zagore, theologian of the Society for African Missions.
"The Church in Africa must increasingly project itself towards this goal. We cannot continue to look constantly towards Europe, to depend totally on Europe and at the same time to tell our young Africans not to go to Europe, not to put their lives in danger. In terms of financial autonomy and economic development, the Church in Africa must be a model and a prophet for its people", insists Zagore.
"In this dynamic of missionary renewal it is time to place the African Christian conscience in the face of this challenge. The social dynamics of missionary activity requires that the Church of Africa continues its commitment towards the most needy by increasing its capacity to fight poverty".
"In this struggle, the Church can only succeed if it establishes genuine dialogue with African governments. It is essential that African governments and churches work together. This is why we must denounce the attitudes of those who unjustly see the Church as a threat, violently attack structures for social and economic development and oppose the promotion of integral human development, such as what is happening today in Eritrea".
"The evangelical mandate of Christ "give them some food yourselves" (Mt 14: 13-21) must remain the Magna Carta of the Church's missionary commitment in Africa", concludes the missionary (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 7/8/2019)