Archbishop of Canterbury to confront Zimbabwe’s Mugabe

October 10, 2011 2:20 pm 0 comments

HARARE (Reuters) - The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will meet President Robert Mugabe on Monday to press the Zimbabwean leader to end violent suppression of the church and its priests.

Williams, who is touring southern Africa, arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday and was greeted by thousands of cheering Anglicans. In a hard-hitting sermon, he criticised Mugabe for seizing Anglican Church property and harassing its followers.

Williams’ press secretary Marie Papworth confirmed the meeting but would not comment on the agenda.

Williams said last week he planned to raise the “harassment and persecution” of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe when he met Mugabe.

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe split after its former head,

Nolbert Kunonga, formed a breakaway faction in 2007 claiming homosexual priests and congregants had gained influence in the church.

The church is appealing an August 4 ruling that gave Kunonga, a Mugabe supporter, custody of its Zimbabwean properties.

He has used the ruling to take over church hospitals and schools, eject bishops and officials from church buildings and force congregants to worship in private schools and halls.

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba told state media on Sunday that the 87-year-old leader would question Williams on the church’s silence on Western sanctions against him and its position on homosexuality.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)

Article source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/archbishop-canterbury-confront-zimbabwes-mugabe-134628376.html

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