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Ask Takudzwa 18 – Prayers in the Public Organizations and in Political Offices

2022-05-10

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/12/29

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand some more.

Here we talk about prayers in public organizations.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Other countries have prayers in some public organizations. Is this a problem in Zimbabwe?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: It is definitely a problem in Zimbabwe. Meetings in any professional place always start with an opening prayer and it has become a norm, people would think something is wrong if a prayer wasn’t part of any formal agenda.

Jacobsen: Other nations have prayers done by political officials, public servants. Is this a problem in Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: Definitely a problem. The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe has managed to get apologies from some public officials after some of our members complained about it, but the problem is persistent and religiosity is generally understood as political goodwill and mileage in Zimbabwe. Even our president wears robes from churches he has never attended before just to ensure that he gets their votes

Jacobsen: What could be an equivalent, if desired, in a secular setting such as in the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: The purpose of prayer is supposedly to solve problems and foster hope. As the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe, we can do that without bending our knees, clasping our hands or mumbling to invisible people. The ritualistic essence of prayer is irrelevant to the community.

Jacobsen: Also, we’ve been on this for some time now. Any review updates for progress in 2019 as a whole?

Mazwienduna: 2019 has been a tough year for Zimbabweans. Most people are trying to survive really given the severe economic crisis and gloomy political climate. The situation is probably a lot worse than Venezuela and we are almost in the same place as we were in 2008 when a loaf of bread cost ZW$5 trillion because of hyperinflation. The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe has not been able to mobilize primarily because of that. On the bright side however, we managed to register the society as a formal organization and it has been the biggest development this year.

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

Mazwienduna: Always a pleasure Scott.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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