24 Feb 2014 11:20am
ONGWEDIVA, 23 FEB (NAMPA) President Hifikepunye Pohamba says the Church has taken it upon itself to provide spiritual guidance to the Namibian society for many decades.
Pohamba said this during the consecration of Reverend Dr Veikko Munyika as the new bishop of the Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) held at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region on Sunday.
The church also established institutions such as schools, hospitals and clinics, which have catered to the educational needs and physical well-being of the people in Namibia.
Pohamba said when Namibian people were suffering under apartheid colonialism, church leaders acted fearlessly and spoke out against the oppression of the Namibian people, both from the church pulpits and at international fora.
This resulted in the arrest, detention, imprisonment, torture and harassment of many church leaders by the apartheid troops in Namibia.
Despite hardships such as apartheid colonialism, church leaders were not deterred, but stood firm in the belief and strong conviction that the struggle of the Namibian people for self-determination and freedom was a just cause.
The Head of State believes that as the nation moves forward with the vital task of nation building, different social partners in the Namibian society, including the church, should join hands with the government to address the many challenges facing the society.
He singled out the violence against women and girls as a source of great concern for the whole nation.
Meanwhile, in his first preach after his consecration, Munyika urged people of Namibia, irrespective of their professions, to be developers in whatever they do instead of just keeping an eye on what is already there.
Munyika, 61, wants to see Namibians aiming at doing better and always produce more than before.
The 22nd ELCIN Synod, which took place at Ongwediva on 25 to 29 November last year, elected Munyika with 48 votes out of 69 votes to become the third bishop of the Western Diocese.
He commenced his duties after his consecration by ELCIN presiding bishop Dr Vaino Nambala on Sunday, succeeding Bishop Josafat Shanghala who had retired.
A number of clergy from all over Namibia and abroad, Cabinet ministers, traditional leaders and ELCIN members attended the consecration.