Brown Chapel to host African minister

Published 10:28 pm Thursday, September 8, 2016

Brown Chapel AME will host pastor Evan Mawarire of Zimbabwe as a special guest speaker during Sunday’s worship service, which begins at 11 a.m.

Mawarire, 39, is pastor of His Generation Church in the capital city of Harare and a key player in non-violent protests that swept the southern African country this summer.

Mawarire founded the #ThisFlag social activism movement to address economic inequalities in his country.

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Starting July 6, thousands of Zimbabweans began peacefully protesting government repression, poor public services, high unemployment, widespread corruption and delays in civil servants receiving salaries. Mawarire was arrested July 13 on treasonable charges; however, he was released the next day and has since temporarily left the country because of concerns about his safety. On July 16, Mawarire told the British Broadcasting Company: “Our protest — non-violent, non-inciting, stay-at-home — is the best because it is within the confines of the law.”

Mawarire has faced some criticism from supporters for not returning to Zimbabwe by now, saying he “abandoned” the movement.

Just this week, Zimbabwe’s high court overturned a two-week ban police had put on protests in Harare. The country president’s 92-year-old Robert Mugabe has been in office 36 years and is critical of the protestors and blamed the country’s economic problems on sabotage by Western influences, according to the BBC’s reporting.

Since his release, Mawarire traveled to South Africa and has since been on a tour of the United States. He chose Brown Chapel and Selma as a site he wanted to visit, according to Brown Chapel pastor Leodis Strong.

“In the spirit of Brown Chapel’s mission, vision, unique history and continued emphasis on human rights and relationship building … Brown is hosting Pastor Evan Mawarire of Zimbabwe as our special guest speaker,” Strong said in a press release.

For more information, contact Strong at (334) 874-7897 or (405) 245-1477.