President Peter Mutharika on Sunday courted the church in the country to rise up and pray for the persecuted, defend albinos and expose the sin that is abductions and killings of persons with albinism.
The President made the call when he graced the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of St. Michael and All Angels Church of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Blantyre Synod at the Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre.
Mutharika’s call came barely a week and some days after meeting a high-powered delegation of Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam). During the meeting, the President assured the association of his administration’s determination to protect people with albinism.
He said many Malawians observed that the church was silent about the persecution of albinos; hence, the need for the clergy to join the fight as the nation cannot allow albinos to be persecuted and suffer when they too were created in the image of God.
Said the President: “Today, persons with albinism are hunted like animals of prey, slaughtered without mercy and their bones sold like common market commodities. No human must suffer for being what they are.
“Let the church be the comforter of those being persecuted and the solace of the suffering. We must comfort them with assurance of Psalms: “Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they shall not succeed.’”
Mutharika also asked the church to help government in fighting moral corruption and evil in its all disguises as moral corruption is like a worm that eats the very heart of national development.
He said: “Then we have those unpatriotic and lazy Malawians stealing drugs from the hospitals. Why should you steal medicine for someone suffering and dying in a hospital bed? Stealing medicine is killing! It is evil that must be condemned by every church.”
CCAP Blantyre Synod secretary general the Reverend Alex Maulana, speaking before the President, said the church was glad that Mutharika took a stand against the killings and abductions of people with albinism.
“As a church, we will support your position. Life is sacred and taking it away is a sin punishable by God. We just hope all the perpetrators of this malpractice will be held accountable by the law,” he said.
And in an interview on the President’s calls, Maulana said the church’s role is to convey the message through its already developed structures.
He said: “We already have got structures built in our churches and we are on podiums [pulpit] on each and every Sunday and we will use such structures to convey the messages against the barbaric acts against people with albinism.”
The 125th anniversary celebrations were held under the theme Arise and Shine in the World taken from Isaiah 42 verse 6 and in his preaching, the Reverend Dr. Takuze Chitsulo also urged the church to go into the communities and be servants of healing of a disease that is killing of people with albinism.
Malawi has recorded 66 cases of albino victimisations, including six killings, 14 kidnappings, three missing persons and 29 tampering with graves.
Speaking when the President hosted his delegation on May 5, Apam president Boniface Massah begged Mutharika to provide people with albinos with modern and secure houses to foil evil people who make forced entries into their rickety homes to kill and abduct them for ritual purposes.
Last week, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jappie Mhango and Inspector General (IG) of Police Lexten Kachama led scores of people in Thete, Dedza in a march to protest the killing and abduction of people with albinism.
The significance of choosing Thete as the venue for the march was that it has one of the highest numbers of people with albinism, with one village having 17 albinos