The Role of Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe in the Fight Against Coronavirus

Never Pavari

Abstract


Practical theology, according to Stone (2002) posits that churches should care and sacrifice for the community. Consequently, Christianity has been handling epidemics for more than 2000 years. This paper seeks to assess the role that is being played by the leadership in Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The term leadership in this paper refers to those in charge of the congregants and this includes church pastors, reverends, bishops and elders. Church leaders are people who play influential roles within their faith communities and the broader local community. They benefit from trust and exercise moral authority over members of their local faith community, and shape public opinion in the broader community and even at the national or international level. The paper argues that the church and its leadership play an important role in providing moral guidance to tackle COVID-19 and also to dispel fear that stalks communities alongside the disease. In order to evaluate the role that AFMZ leadership is playing in the fight against COVID-19, the paper employs a qualitative research approach in its exploration and analysis of data gathered through an online survey method. The paper found out that the church is playing a vital role in communities by communicating messages of hope in the midst of severe fears of COVID-19. It also found out that the church leadership is playing a vital role in changing people’s attitudes toward COVID-19 by providing in depth discussions of safety measures in times of the pandemic. Lastly, the paper found out that the church leadership is not doing enough on the practical matters like providing food to the most vulnerable groups in their respective communities and for quarantined patients, maintaining clear communication with families and ensuring that basic primary care is not undermined due to limited finances. The paper therefore recommends that more finance should be availed to church leadership especially from the main church coffers to enable them to meet the above-mentioned demands.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v10i3.17690

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