Latwell Nyangu

THE United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe has stood its ground against homosexuality and same sex marriages.

The resident bishop of the Zimbabwe Episeopal Area, Eben Nhiwatiwa, said this in a communiqué to the United Methodist Church family in this country in the wake of their general conference, which was held in the United States, from April 23 to May 3.

“We, United Methodist in Zimbabwe, will maintain that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.

 “This is the teaching of the Bible and no resolution can change that.

“For us Africans, in general and Zimbabweans in particular, marriage will always be defined as a union between man and woman.

“We will not solemnise same sex marriages as the church.

“United Methodist Church Marriage Officers will solemnise marriages according to Zimbabwe’s Marriages Act (5.17).”

He added:

“The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe adheres to state laws and is privileged that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not recognise homosexuality.

“On this matter, it gives me much humility to share with you that our own delegate, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, stood firm to ensure that our position as espoused continues to be upheld.

“Let me hasten to say United Methodist Church Zimbabwe Episcopal Area’s position, as well articulated in the communique of February 4, regarding issues of human sexuality has not changed.

“The General Conference adopted worldwide regionalisation, whose import is that each and every region will align itself to the biblical, social and legal context.

“As adopted by the General Conference, this gives us space to come up with our own Book of Discipline in a given region.

“Initial discussions are that central conferences will be regions and as such each Central Conference will have its own Book of Discipline, which ensures Zimbabwean faith and position on marriage remains intact.”

Nhiwatiwa said regionalisation could be well refined by the end of next year.

“Lifting the ban on homosexuality does not change our position as Zimbabwe Episcopal Area, that homosexuality is an abomination to us Africans and, as espoused in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. 

“We want to develop and continue with a United Methodist Church type of brand in Zimbabwe where others will come and learn from us about how we would have overcome all these challenges.

“We have the mandate to shape our own future as the church.”

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