Church-state relationship and elections: post 2016 election violence in Zambia.
Bwalya, Mulenga Felix.
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This study sought to determine the role that the Church played in the post 2016 election violence in Zambia. It utilized Bonheoffer’s perception of Church-State relations as a conceptual framework which underpinned the study. The methodology employed was based on non-empirical evidence and document analysis. Tools used to analyze documents were ecumenical statements and other press release by Church leaders in response to post 2016 election events. The argument of this study is that although the Church’s intervention does not always lead to a reconciliatory outcome, it has been almost universally trusted to bring peace and reconciliation. However, the Church, in this case, contributed to political failure, was complacent and lacked timing to build a trustworthy public relationship. The study argues that the ambiguous role that the Church played in promoting reconciliation post 2016 election violence was as a result of an improper relationship between the State and the Church. The term ‘improper relationship,’ in this study refers to non-reciprocal relationship which advantaged the State alone. The study also noted that political leaders have seductive power that can easily jeopardize the fundamental principles of the Church and its prophetic mission.