CHIPATA Diocese Bishop George Lungu has expressed concern at the high rate of the rural-urban migration.
During the commemoration of 150 years of the Missionaries of Africa and launch of the Year of Mission at Chasera outstation in the Luangwa valley last weekend, Bishop Lungu, who is also Zambia Conference for Catholic Bishops president, said Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s government move to encourage people to go back to the land aimed at promoting agriculture was good.
“The aim of the government was for people to move away from towns and go to villages to do farming. What is surprising is that instead of people coming to the village to come and do farming, they are coming
from the village going to town. What went wrong for this good programme?” he wondered. “Everyone depends on a farmer, most of us have eaten breakfast, that’s the work of a farmer. Without a farmer it is a
Bishop Lungu said another programme called green revolution which encouraged people to go back to villages and plant trees was also good.
“This was again a good programme but what is shocking is that the trees have been depleted. Charcoal burning and other bad practices are depleting trees,” he said.
Bishop Lungu hoped things would change following the launch of the Year of Mission in the Catholic Church.
“Will this Year of Mission change things in the Church in as far as evangelisation is concerned or things will remain the same? I don’t know but most of the times people say, you Catholics you help us a lot in-terms of health, you have good hospitals that provide good
healthcare to the people, you have reliable schools where children score hundred per cent marks and people from various churches come to our schools,” he said. “Others engage in corruption to find places in Catholic schools but when time for faith comes so that they know what the Catholic Church teaches, they don’t join us they go to their own churches.”
Bishop Lungu said there was so much ignorance about the Catholic faith.
“I can’t say much here, but there is so much ignorance about the Catholic faith. Most people do not understand the teachings of the Catholic Church, its worse on matters to do with Mary (Mother of Jesus). How can they know without anyone to explain to them?” he
Bishop Lungu called for sacrifice among Catholics for the Year of Mission to succeed.
He called on those following religious life to spend more time with the people to share the faith during the Year of mission.