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Stand Firm in One Spirit

PM Meles’ speech this week on “religious tension” and “the need to be vigilant by people and government to guard our proud asset of religious tolerance” is a sure sign the situation in the country has turned a corner. The PM did not name names but did not mince words either as to where the blame should lie. The fact that the PM went on television to castigate “recalcitrant” religious leaders is itself a testament to the gravity of the matter.
In an earlier post we stated that with the issuance of a new draft proclamation the church may need to prepare for all eventualities, especially, concerning her relationship with the state and other religious groups. The church should expect betrayals by disgruntled individuals and by those who would not hesitate to sell their soul for a piece of morsel. After all, the spirit of Judas lives on.

Church leaders should tread carefully so as to not provide any excuses for authorities to turn “vigilance” into “vigilantism.” They should also make clear their stand on aspects of the Church's activities, on her contacts within and outside the country and above all her commitment to represent Jesus Christ on earth—come what may. Church leaders should not be fooled into thinking that whatever happens to others is none of their business! To paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemoller [1892-1984]: “First they came for others; I did not speak up because I was not others…Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."
The church should stand together as never before. As Paul the Apostle admonished us we need to “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you … for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places …Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 6:12,13]