ZCCB warns against social media abuse

THE Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops is advising against hate speech and posting of nudity on the internet.

ZCCB communications secretary Father Winfield Kunda says it is the Church’s desire that everyone’s views and opinions be respected as long as they are not against the law.

In a Christmas message yesterday, Fr Kunda said ZCCB were saddened by the way society abused social media by spreading falsehood, hate speech and posting immoral pictures.

“In as much as we have developed such a technology to spread the message swiftly, fast and wide, we still remain children of God that should not be enslaved by the very technology we have developed and become disunited, disreputable and destructible to our moral fabric of our society. Ours should be to spread ideas and stories that are there to edify and promote growth and development to those who read them,” he said. “We urge you to use the media not to bring harm or abhorrence through the words or images that we upload on social sites. Hate speech should be completely removed from what you post on the internet. We should completely stop from posting immoral images on our social media. We urge specially parents to teach young boys and girls on the dangers of posting their nudity on social media.”

And Fr Kunda said the country had embraced a democratic political system that espouses inclusiveness in governance, public discourses and of diverse opinions on various issues.

He said democracy therefore called for tolerance by those who govern.

Fr Kunda said intimidation of those holding divergent thoughts be it in political parties, homes, institutions of justice, trade unions did not lead a democratic country to flourish in its dispensations.

“Intolerance leads to injustice and consequently to lack of peace. Peace and justice are intertwined. Where there is injustice, peace is at risk. As we celebrate Christmas, we are alive to the reality that Christ has come to unite us,” he said. “He has come to bring us divine grace, that is, the possibility of sharing in his life. This entails weaving a fabric of good relationships marked by reciprocity, forgiveness, reconciliation and complete self-giving. Continued presence of peace in Zambia will allow us to attain cooperation and unity as a nation. Peace will also help us to remain focused on national building and the development of our country.”

Fr Kunda said the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ was the beginning of the new era for people to walk in the light because salvation had been guaranteed as scripture testifies “a people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us and authority is laid on his shoulders.”

“Christmas, therefore is the time that we should reflect and embrace the love that God has for us, his people and reciprocate by showing love to humanity. It is a time for us to celebrate and rejoice because it marks the end of our journey of slavery to sin and the dawn of a new day of salvation,” he said.

Fr Kunda said people should continue thanking God for all the blessings that they received in year.

“As I stated in the last year’s Christmas message, as citizens of this country, we have argued and opposed each other on various issues, be it political, social, cultural or religious yet we have continued to be united,” he said. “This unity that continues to inspire us to live in peace has earned us a lot of admirations from many countries and they desire to be like us. However, though our nation is generally peaceful, this peace can easily be broken if we continue with the recent developments of intolerance of other people’s views on many issues especially on national governance.”

Fr Kunda said the Christmas message of peace should resonate even in families.

“As you celebrate the birth of Jesus, remember to celebrate with your family members. We urge you to avoid violence, abuse in any form or excessive merry-making to the detrimental of family sustenance,” said Fr Kunda.

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