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Zambia's constitution should not identify 'Christian nation,' bishops argue

August 20, 2012

The Catholic bishops of Zambia are opposing a plan to identify the African country as “a Christian nation” in the preamble to a new proposed constitution.

In explaining their stand, the bishops said that “a country cannot practice the values and precepts of Christianity by a mere declaration.” The bishops’ statement, circulated in response to a call for comments on the draft constitution, continued:

The principle of separation between State and Religion must not be lost. If Zambia is a multi-religious Country, a fact that was recognized in the preamble of the first draft of the Technical Committee, to say that Zambia is a Christian nation would be in contradiction with this fact.

In other comments, the Catholic bishops objected to language that would allow for the death penalty and for legal abortion.

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