"Those Who Walk In Darkness, Will See A Great Light..."
The Christian Reconstruction of Zambia
by Brian M. Abshire
As I write this article, America is reeling from the monstrous bombing at
the US federal building in Oklahoma City. Terror bombings, once the
specialty of fanatical, Middle Eastern suicide squads, have now come to
middle America. As we continue our slide into lawlessness, every disgruntled
maniac with a few gallons of fuel oil and some fertilizer can murder
hundreds indiscriminently. It appears that the long, dark night may be
falling on America.
Yet as we live in the twilight of this post-Christian nation, a nation hell
bent on eradicating its Christian heritage, a nation ridiculing and ignoring
the few small voices offering a Biblical alternative, a nation where the
"best and brightest" of our theologians roll on their backs and cry for
"principled pluralism," God has brought a new nation into existence where
His light is shining brightly. The morning star of the Great Revival may be
appearing in the middle of the dark continent of Africa. Peter Hammond,
South African missionary to the persecuted church and director of Frontline
Fellowship, recently briefed me on one of the most exciting developments in
central Africa, the Christian Reconstruction of Zambia.
Zambia is a landlocked country, surrounded by Angola, Zaire, Tanzania,
Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The British left over a billion
pounds in the bank when they granted independence in 1964 and Zambia was
widely hailed as the most prosperous and promising nation in Central Africa.
Promising and prosperous that is, until the "socialist humanism" of
President Kenneth Kuanda's one-party dictatorship squandered its abundance
with his heavy handed socialism, neglect of agriculture, widespread
corruption and support of terrorism.
Zambia's history since independence has been "dark and stormy." In 1967,
Kaunda signed a treaty with Red China and two years later nationalized all
foreign industries and corporations. In 1972, the ruling United National
Independence Party (UNIP) became the only legal political party. All others
were brutally suppressed. The prisons were filled with political opponents
and critics of the President. Zambia then signed a treaty with the Soviet
Union. Some of the highest ranking Soviet officials - including the Soviet
President - visited the country. Soviets, North Korean and Cuban military
advisors were a common sight.
During these dark years, Zambia played host to a bewildering assortment of
Marxist terrorists - the MPLA, Frelimo, ZANU, ZAPU, SWAPO, the PAC and the
ANC. These revolutionary movements used Zambia as a launching pad for
terrorist attacks against Mozambique and Angola (when they were controlled
by the Portuguese), South West Africa, Rhodesia and South Africa. Tens of
thousands of people were crippled or killed by Soviet and Red Chinese
armaments channeled through Zambia. SWAPO and the ANC even ran concentration
camps in Zambia for their own dissidents. Thousands of members of SWAPO and
the ANC were brutally murdered by their own people on Zambian soil - with
complete impunity. Those who escaped were hunted down by the Zambian police
and handed back to SWAPO or the ANC for torture or execution.
In October 1987, Peter Hammond and three other Frontline Fellowship
missionaries, experienced first hand the hospitality of this Marxist miracle
when they were arrested for bringing Bibles into the country. They were
beaten with rifle butts, prodded with bayonets, stripped of their clothes
and incarcerated in cells covered in human filth. Blindfolded, barefooted
and in chains, they sang Gospel hymns as they were paraded through the
streets of Livingstone and Lusaka. They were finally confined in Lusaka
Central Prison, the maximum security facility - with a thousand other
prisoners, most of whom had never been brought to trial. Some had been in
there for as long as 8 years.
The conditions in this enlightened Socialist "rehabilitation center" were
unbelievably degrading; no running water, no toilets, no bathing facilities
or showers. Peter says that the entire prison was one big, stinking, disease
factory. During their time in Lusaka Central, Peter and his fellow
missionaries were crammed into 25 x 15 foot, fetid cells, with 60 - 65
other prisoners. The only air came from a one foot square, barred hole in
the main door.
What Peter and his colleagues did not realize was that they were sharing
their cells with the next government of Zambia! During the following weeks
of Bible study, prayer and vigorous discussions in the prison, they were
able to teach Biblical principles of government to the very men God would
raise up after He deposed the Marxists; the future vice-president of Zambia
- General Godfrey Miyanda - and a few cells away, Frederick Chiluba, the
future Christian President of Zambia. After prayer and worldwide pressure
set Peter and his colleagues free, Frontline was one of the few ministries
alerting people to the plight of the suffering Christians in Zambia.
Ultimately socialism wrecked its inevitable havoc and without support from
the collapsing Soviet Empire, the nation teetered on economic and social
anarchy. Mass protests and nationwide prayer vigils finally forced the
Zambian government to its knees. The first multi-party elections were held
on October 31, 1991. The result was a crushing 5 to 1 defeat for Kaunda.
The first freely elected President, Frederick Chiluba, promptly testified
to the saving power of Christ and called for a day of prayer. At a simple
ceremony in December 1991, the new President publicly confessed the national
sins of witchcraft and corruption and committed Zambia to becoming a
Christian nation! When he was asked if he intended writing a new
Constitution, Chiluba replied that he didn't have to. It was already written
- the Bible. He held up the Bible to the full view of the world press.
However, despite this promising beginning, the legacy of 27 years of
humanistic education, socialist mismanagement, widespread corruption and
witchcraft, seriously undermined the best intentions of the President. In
addition, many of the new Cabinet Members of the MMD (Movement for
Multi-party Democracy), were simply old UNIP (Kenneth Kaunda's socialist
ruling party) members who had crossed over when defeat appeared inevitable.
Reports of drug dealing and corruption by many of these cabinet members are
The reformation itself had some false starts. One of the first acts of the
new government was to abolish capital punishment and release many murderers
from prison. Chiluba hailed this as showing how Christians forgive!
Frontline Fellowship's mission became unpopular when they publicly
challenged the President that he was confusing the ministry of grace in the
church with the ministry of justice in civil government! The resulting
explosion of crime and violence was inevitable and tragic.
Whether by accident or design, new found freedoms also led to the
legalization of pornography and abortion. Frontline Fellowship led the
charge in condemning and exposing the pagan trend of this new Christian
government. They distributed tens of thousands of Christian
Reconstructionist booklets, tracts, Bibles and Christian books in prisons,
government departments, schools and churches throughout Zambia. They then
launched a "Salt Shakers" ministry, small groups committed to prayer,
strategy and action throughout Zambia. They presented Christian
Reconstructionist, pro-life, pro-family, messages on national radio and TV,
in schools and churches. Zambia Christian Action was launched under the
leadership of Pastor John Jere. Frontline also held Biblical Worldview
Seminars in Ndola and Lusaka, took part in delegations to the various
government departments and presented copies of Reformed and
Reconstructionist books to the vice-president.
The Zambian government then took a most encouraging turn. President Chiluba
made a public speech against pornography and called for its total
eradication. This was followed by vigorous action by the Zambian police in
rooting out all publicly displayed pornography and arresting those who sold
it. Representations of Zambia Christian Action convinced the Zambian
government to have the police burn the pornography on the streets wherever
it was found.
Numerous pro-life, anti-pornography and creation videos were imported by
Frontline Fellowship from America and broadcast on prime time national
television. They showed films such as: THE HARD TRUTH, THE ECLIPSE OF
REASON, FATAL ADDICTION, THE EMPTY EMBRACE, and other relevant
presentations. Frontline Fellowship missionaries became regular speakers on
Zambian national radio programs and their ZCA coordinator, John Jere, became
a familiar sight on national TV - challenging Zambians to turn to Biblical
principles and to rebuild every area of life upon the Law of God.
The Zambian government next outlawed abortion. Abortion clinics were closed
down and illegal clinics were raided by the police. Abortionists were
beaten and imprisoned and their equipment was smashed. The vice-president -
General Miyanda - courageously made a strong stand for the right to life of
the unborn at the Cairo Conference. He totally rejected the UN and WHO
promotion of abortion.
The Zambian President than came on national television and said that the
schools of Zambia were to be built only upon the Word of God. He said that
Zambia was now a Christian nation and while they would not bulldoze Muslim
mosques - unlike the Muslims who destroy Christian churches in their
countries - they had to recognize that Zambian schools were also Christian.
He said that Muslims were welcome to build their own schools for their own
people, should they so wish, but in the state controlled schools, only the
Gospel of Christ would be proclaimed. He further explained that the National
Radio and Television would, in future, only promote the Christian faith.
"You are welcome to open up your own radio and TV stations, should you so
wish", he invited the Muslims. "However, you must now understand that
on the National Radio and Television, only the Gospel of Christ will be
Building a Christian school system is naturally easier said than done. All
the text books in the state schools were written by humanists and the
teachers were trained in humanist universities. Home schools are rare and
the people, subverted by almost thirty years of socialism, do not understand
that the state has no business in education. Nevertheless, pastors were
invited to present Biblical teaching in various state schools. Peter
reports that the students and teachers are exceptionally receptive to
Biblical teaching and very hungry for Christian literature, films and
videos. The Minister of Education has asked for foreign missionaries and
Christian school teachers to come to Zambia and help build a Christian
schooling system. The Minister of Education offered schools to any
Christian teachers who would be willing to run them and teach the Word of God.
Similarly, Peter said there was a surprising openness to Biblical
principles in the police and army. Since most of the army and police had
been trained by Soviet, North Korean or Red Chinese instructors and
indoctrinated in Marxism, they were disillusioned with humanism and
receptive to the Word of God. The police also now strongly desire to enforce
justice. Peter told me about one of his mission teams returning from an
intensive series of leadership training courses in the north of Zambia. They
were camping by the banks of the Zambezi River when they woke to find
thieves stealing their luggage and equipment. Now these guys had chosen the
wrong people to steal from. You've got to know Peter's missionaries to
appreciate this, most of his men are former military men. In this case, two
of the team had been experienced trackers in the South African Special
Forces. They tracked down and, (ahem), "apprehended" each of the five
thieves and took them to the local police station in Livingstone. The police
were most apologetic that foreign guests should have suffered this
inconvenience and duly chastised and beat the criminals (justice, African
style!). They then urged the missionaries to stay for the trial so that they
could testify against these criminals the next week.
However, the missionaries pleaded, "We've been in the field for months - we
just want to go home. Can't you hold the court case any earlier?" The
police then phoned the local judge who rushed over, held the trial, found
the criminals guilty and sentenced them to jail (they don't understand about
restitution yet). The police chief then publicly thanked the missionaries
for bringing these lawbreakers to justice and Frontline's team continued on
their way back to Cape Town!
There is a wide open door to missionary service in Zambia. However, most
of the missionary work is the typical, antinomian, pietistic type. The
greatest need is for Reconstructionist literature and leadership training.
Here is a country that has emerged from 27 years of socialism and has
committed itself to becoming a Christian nation. The President has made a
covenant with Almighty God. There have been national days of Prayer and
Fasting, national days of Repentance and of Thanksgiving proclaimed by the
government. The nation of Zambia has been mobilized by its government to
pray in a way that no other government has in recent years. If this
attempted reformation in Zambia succeeds, it will be a shining light and a
challenge and rebuke to all the nations of the world - especially in
Africa. Though the government is avowedly Christian, it lacks an
understanding and application of Biblical law. They want to build a
Christian nation, they just need information about how to do it. They are
looking for answers and somebody will supply them, either us, or someone else.
Peter ended his interview by telling me some of the unbelievably imbecilic
things done by the bulk of American missionaries and so-called "Christian"
workers who are flooding into Zambia. The "Name it, claim it and frame it"
- "Health, wealth and prosperity" crowd are invading Zambia big-time. This
actually is one of the counter-catches of freedom - only the bravest and
most Biblical Christians risk ministering in Communist countries. But once
the day of freedom comes, the 5-star, jet-setting, hyper, turbo boosted
evangelists pour in. Needless to say, there is a war going on in Zambia
right now. It is not only a war against the effects of socialism and
humanism - it is against the superficial, insipid, artificial, nauseating,
sensational and materialistic message of the antinomian, blow-dried
Christian Reconstructionists have an incredible opportunity to help advance
the Kingdom by supporting the reformation in Zambia. If this reformation is
overthrown or allowed to fail, it will be a tremendous victory for the
forces of Satan. Christians worldwide need to rally behind our brethren.
Obviously they need our prayers. This is God's victory and only He can bring
it to fruition. But we can also publish the testimony of Zambia as far and
as widely as God allows. Most Christian magazines haven't said a word about
Zambia. Tourists could consider Zambia as their destination. It is a
beautiful country with some of the most spectacular wildlife left in Africa.
The country desperately needs foreign currency and all of its citizens
benefit from every visitor. Christian businessmen could consider investing
in Zambia. Some Christian teachers could consider spending a year or more
working in the schools. Churches and ministries could donate quantities of
good, Reconstructionist materials to fuel the reformation fires in Zambia.
Frontline Fellowship has almost unlimited opportunity to distribute
literature throughout the government, mass media, educational institutions,
police, army, journalists and pastors throughout the country.
A reconstructed Zambia could be the beginning of a world wide revival. As
central Africa is depopulated by AIDs, a strong Christian nation, blessed by
God could spread throughout the continent. Who knows, in a few decades, we
may need their missionaries to put our own nation back together again. God
is sovereign, whatever judgments He brings against us will not stop His
Kingdom growing until it fills the earth. Perhaps we too will have to face
some dark years until we humble ourselves, repent from our sins, and seek
His face. But darkness is only the absence of light. The Adversaries
victories are only for a season. Our Lord's are forever. Our God reigns!
Though materials can be sent directly to Zambia, it would be cheaper and
simpler if gifts are sent to Frontline Fellowship by sea post (book post) -
Mailbag. The customs officials know Frontline and as long as the Mail bags
or boxes are marked "GIFT - OF NO COMMERCIAL VALUE" or "RELIGIOUS MATERIALS
- GIFT", then they will be charged no customs duty. One of the hangovers
from the socialist days in Zambia is that there is a bit too much
bureaucracy and too many customs officials willing to slap import duty on
organizations for boxes arriving in the post. Frontline Fellowship can get
them across the border without any complications
Frontline Fellowship, PO Box 74, Newlands, 7725 South Africa,
Telephone: just dial direct 011-27-21-689-4480 Fax 011-27-21-685-5884
Be sure to mark all materials "Religious Materials/Gifts" to escape statist
Individual books or magazine subscriptions can be sent to the head of
Frontline's work in Zambia,
Rev. John Jere, Zambia Christian Action,
PO Box 5, Chawama, Lusaka, Zambia, (Central Africa), Tel: 011
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