A CHRISTIAN APPEAL FROM RHODESIA

     The following is portion of a newsletter issued by the Rhodesia Christian Group, and sent to us by the Rev. Father Arthur Lewis:

“At the end of last year I returned briefly to my old mission-district in the Honde Valley, now perhaps the most war-torn area of Rhodesia. We travelled in mine-proof vehicles. In the driving rain near the Mozambique border I saw the dead and mutilated bodies of twenty-seven defenceless tea-estate workers, ripped by bullets and slashed by bayonets. This appalling atrocity was perpetrated by terrorist raiders in the presence of the victims’ wives and children, with whom I was able to speak and pray.

At Geneva the Marxist Robert Mugabe, who insists that armed struggle’ is the only solution of our problems, was reported as promising selective acts of violence to achieve his ends. The Honde massacre and the cold-blooded killing of three Roman Catholic missionaries are plainly two such acts. They are the logical conclusion of the World Council of Churches’ ‘Programme to Combat Racism’ and the support of terrorism, in the name of ‘liberation’, by Churches and church bodies.

The Rhodesian Christian Group and the Christian League of Southern Africa of which we are now a part, try to build a fellowship of prayer and action among Christians of various Churches who are resisting this evil thing. We try to oppose Marxism by awakening a true Love for our Lord and the civilisation which His Church has built.... What of our country’s future?  Here is our this-worldly task.

The British government, our persecutors, can hardly help till they abandon their persecution. All we can do is pray for them. With God’s help we can still help ourselves, without the false humility which pretends the major problems are of local manufacture. But black grievances must be dealt with swiftly and radically and terms reached with the moderate Africans who do not want the total collapse and misery of revolution.

‘Surrender’ and ‘immediate transfer of power’ are out. There is no one to whom power can be transferred without the total anarchy which precedes the Marxist takeover. There is no nationalist party with any policy for ruling the country. We are not, I fear, a free and independent country, though we have preserved much by our long struggle. We are a pawn in the ghastly game of WORLD-POWER POLITICS.
But if people of all races who want Christian civilisation, not communist tyranny, will make a working alliance, then the big bosses have failed in their game of divide and rule, and we can build something which is the legitimate heir of the Christian past.

It is a tremendous challenge, an uphill but practical way forward. Humanly speaking, some goodwill from the U.S. and South Africa is requisite: neither country is lacking in Christians.

     Since Father Lewis wrote the above he has had the answer of that much-publicised “born-again” Christian, President Jimmy Carter. The Carter Administration has announced, through its Ambassador to the U.N., Mr. Young, that it is going to apply massive new economic pressure on the Rhodesian Government by repealing the “Byrd amendment” which was enacted - in 1971, and allows the United States to import chrome. When the “Byrd amendment” was enacted it was stressed that America’s military programme urgently required adequate supplies of Rhodesia’s chrome. The only other major source is the Soviet Union.

     Father Lewis is right: little Rhodesia, with its vast mineral wealth, is but a pawn in the struggle to create the “One World”. But Rhodesia still survives, with Prime Minister Ian Smith bravely insisting that Rhodesia could indefinitely contain the rising terrorist attacks.

     15 May 1987:
“The bulk of the population, who had originally been small proprietors.... became gradually indebted to the rich to such an extent that they were practically slaves. Usury had given all the power of the State to a small plutocracy. When we turn to Rome at that same period; we find exactly the same difficulties arising.... As in Athens, the mass of the people was yeomen living on their own small estates, but in time they became hopelessly in debt.  Accordingly, the legislation of the XII Tables, about 500 BC, was intended to strike at this evil by providing a maximum rate of interest.  Unfortunately, however, no alternative was made in the law of debt, and the attempt to regulate the rate of interest failed.  In the course of two or three centuries the small free farmers were utterly destroyed.... It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the influence of usury on the social and economic history of the Roman Republic...”
- - - Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 27, 11th Edition

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TOWARDS ONE PARTY DICTATORSHIP IN ZIMBABWE