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Ask Shingai 2 – Political Strife and Religious Consolation


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/08/15

Interview with Shingai Rukwata Ndoro is the Interim Chairperson of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. We will explore the nature of theism and non-theism, and so on, in the context of Zimbabwe for this educational series.

Here we talk about the positives of religion, the negatives of religion, and political influence of religion in Zimbabwe.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When we think of the ways in which religion provides community, how does religion provide community, as a positive, in Zimbabwe?

Shingai Rukwata Ndoro: I’m not sure if we remove socialisation about religion and if we go into the psychology of the religious texts and the principals figures therein, one can find positives about religion in this country or any country.

There are these aspects of the Dark Side of the Bible ordinarily ignored by scholars and apologists: 

1. Bible Vice Verses,
2. Bible Dark Side
3. Skeptics view of the Bible
4. The evil nature of the Bible  
5. The Character of the Biblical Abrahamic God

Jacobsen: What negatives co-exist alongside these positives, which makes any analysis of religion, at root, complicated and ambivalent (as this only exists as one example)?

Ndoro: Despite Zimbabwe being a secular republic and a constitutional democracy, there is too much influence of the religious in the political system. This arose from the colonial privileges and advantages for Christianity that have remained protected and defended. School assembly Christian prayers, public events prayers and preachings, default Christian public swearing in public institutions, coverage of Christian events and views in public media and a total disregard for other religions and the non-religious, open Christian declarations by public officials as if it protects them from scrutiny, non-existent public questioning or examination of Christian beliefs and claims, Christian figures given undue privileges and prominence in public gatherings and national events.

Jacobsen: How does religion influence the political situation in the history of Zimbabwe? How deep is religious indoctrination in government now?

Ndoro: Christianity was introduced in the 16th century and then after some few years died. 

It was then re-introduced by the colonizing Pioneer Column that arrived in 1890.  

Before that locals had their own ceremonies, traditions and rituals that were then declared by Christian missionaries as evil and inspired by a devil.

The highest authority in the metaphysical “world” was the paternal ancestors who were then supplicated through appropriate music, traditional beer and ground tobacco.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Mr. Ndoro.


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