The challenges of evangelizing the African Christian family in the light of 'Familiaris consortio'.
This thesis falls under Missiology. Its main objective is to investigate the challenges of evangelizing the African Christian Family in the light of'Familiaris Consortio. J The thesis is unique by virtue of its contextualization. It targets the people who occupy Gokwe diocese, one ofthe eight dioceses in Zimbabwe. The thesis is divided into five chapters. The First Chapter looks at the location and family life in Gokwe diocese. In this chapter, special attention is given to the inhabitants of Gokwe diocese themselves, their social life, marriage, the influence of modernity on marriage and family life, the economic life of the people, their political life and some rituals which include belief in the veneration ofancestors and the kurova guva (bringing home) ceremony. It is in this same chapter that most of the challenges to evangelizing the African (Shona) Christian family in Gokwe diocese come out. Some of these include: polygamy, divorce, bridewealth, poverty, belief in ancestors and the kurova guva ceremony. The Second Chapter gives what the Church teaches on the theology of marriage and family life. It is in two main sections. The first section highlights some important points on God's plan for marriage and family life. The second and largest section emphasizes the role of the Christian family which is realized by fulfilling four main tasks, namely: forming a community of persons, serving life, participating in the development of society and sharing in the life and mission ofthe Church. The Third Chapter is an evaluation of the similarities and disparities between the theological! ecclesiological stance and the real family situation in Gokwe diocese. In a nutshell, it compares and contrasts the first and second chapters, bringing out the similarities and differences existing between the two. Community spirit, value of life, communion between the living and the dead, ethics and morality are among some notable similarities, whilst polygamy, divorce, position of women and attitude towards health and sickness are among the major disparities. The Fourth Chapter is practical in the sense that it seeks to offer some envisaged pastoral solutions and proposals to the already highlighted challenges and problems. Closest attention to the solutions is given to the available resources in the diocese of Gokw.e especially in the areas ofstages, structures and agents ofpastoral care for the family. The Fifth Chapter is a conclusion of the whole thesis. Basically it looks at what I have discovered throughout the whole thesis and offers some general conclusions according to 'Familiaris Consortio.