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Atmosphere of fear among Zimbabwe’s Catholics

Catholic World News - November 21, 2012

An anonymous report from the Church in Zimbabwe highlights the pervasive despair and fear among the nation’s impoverished populace. The nation has been ruled by Robert Mugabe since 1980.

“Any attempt at criticism of the ruling party or those who are responsible for the economic misery of the people can lead to nasty retribution and acts of revenge by the party,” charges the report, which was made public by Aid to the Church in Need. “For instance if you read out a critical pastoral letter in Church this may be revenged by the party and may lead to violent assaults on either priests or otherwise lay people in the rural areas.”

“Very often the priest is not there, the people have their own liturgies of the Word on Sundays when there is no Mass, so lay leaders may also get in the firing line,” the report added.

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