Too Many Churches Fragment Society

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The mushrooming of the number of churches in the country has become a public concern to some. Many church leaders view the situation as one that creates disunity in the different communities and is a recipe for social degradation. In an attempt to reverse this trend, the Association of Charismatic Pentecostal Churches in Namibia (ACPCN) recently held an annual general consultative meeting at a local hotel in Windhoek. Close to 40 church leaders and pastors attended the event held at the end of last month. Pastor Bernhard Kukuri said the meeting was well attended and was an information drive for all Pentecostal churches to stand together. “All charismatic and Pentecostal churches must stand up and build the fallen and broken walls of the Namibian population in various areas and sectors of society”, said Pastor Kukuri. Pentecostal churches have been divided for some time now. Many of them were established as different entities in various parts of the country. According to Pastor Gerson Gariseb this has been a long-standing issue that needed urgent attention at the annual general meeting. “It is important for all pastors to accomplish their goals when it comes to nurturing healthy families, community healing and family values in society”, explained Pastor Gariseb yesterday. That was why an appropriate theme was chosen to bring the spirit of unity back within the Pentecostal churches: “Christian Education, a sound basis for Healthy Families and Family Relationships.” The meeting was held in partnership with the Council of Churches of Namibia (CCN) with its President, Bishop Johannes Sindano, in attendance. The Secretary General of the CCN, Rev. Phillip Strydom delivered a speech on the theme of the African Christian Churches for this year and on the CCN’s annual activities. The main issue was the pivotal role churches could play in reviving the increasing social decay and moral breakdown in communities through unity of purpose. Christian education was identified as having a positive influence and impact on Christians in general and the society as a whole. The chairperson of the ACPCN, Rev. Fritz Gaweseb, said at the meeting, “If we as Namibians want to ensure our future as a nation, we have to educate and train our kids according to Biblical principles.” Other important topics that were discussed centred around the launch of the five-year Strategic Action Plan of the association, the training of church leaders, the establishment of a ACPCN Bible School for its members and conducting HIV/Aids Home-Based Care and Counselling Training for pastors during the months of August, September and October this year. General agreement was also reached amongst the leadership while stock was taken of the latest developments regarding the ACPCN that was established four years ago by Pentecostal church leaders. Pastor Gariseb said that the meeting was successful, as the membership of churches had doubled from 30 to over 62 currently affiliated with the association.