OPUWO, 20 MAY (NAMPA) ? Members of different churches gathered at the Newman Katuta Stadium at Opuwo on Sunday to join the rest of the world in the Global Day of Prayer.
This is the ninth year in succession that churches in the town of Opuwo are coming together on this global day of prayer to jointly pray for divine intervention and solutions to problems and issues that are of concern to the Namibian community in general, and the Opuwo town in particular.
The issues that topped the prayer list were passion killings, crime and corruption, witchcraft, alcohol and drug abuse, health, unity in churches, education and good local and national leaderships.
A crowd of about 800 worshippers gathered to listen to different preachers, and to dance to gospel music sung by choirs and entertainment groups from different churches.
Speaking on witchcraft, the pastor of the Oruuano Protestant Unity Church Ueutjerevi Ngunaihe said there are Christians who are going to witchdoctors during the night to seek spiritual assistance.
He said these sorts of actions make a mockery of the Christian faith, as people do not trust in God for assistance, but rather resort to going to witchdoctors.
Christians who see witchdoctors at night are showing a very poor example to non-believers, he added.
?If you are trying to tell a person not to go to witchdoctors, that person will just respond by saying that Christians themselves are also using the services of witchdoctors to solve their problems,? stressed Ngunaihe.
Engaging in witchcraft in the Kunene Region, mostly in the Opuwo and Epupa constituencies, is a common thing.
Witchcraft is used by the rural communities to allegedly protect their livestock from being stolen or killed by predators, used for charming people, protection against snake bites and for becoming rich, amongst other things.
Opuwo is also regularly facing a shortage of nurses and medical doctors at the State hospital and clinic.
The gathering prayed thus for the improvement of medical services, the commitment of health workers to their calling, as well as for the provision of more nursing staff and specialists at the Opuwo State Hospital.
Leading the prayer against alcohol and drug abuse, Brother Kunovandu Hepute said the problem of alcohol abuse was not only a problem for non-Christians, but also a problem for believers.
The reverend of the Church of the Nazarene, Mike Charley, who read the Scriptures at the gathering, spoke against homosexuality, and called on the Christian community to stand firm in their faith.
Charley said there is no compromise or negotiation when it comes to the Word of God.
He added that some Christians want to justify homosexuality with words about the love of God, saying ?God said we must love one another?.
The Christian faith is being tested even from within the church, and Christians should thus always stand firm and be vigilant against false teachings, he continued.
The first of this sort of gathering by different churches on the global day of prayer was held in May 2005, and the groups had continued to hold one every year since, said Pastor Shafomuntu Petrus, who coordinated the event.
The churches in Opuwo which were represented at the event were the Dutch Reformed Church, Uniting Reformed Church, Mission Work for Christ, Church of the Nazarene, Oruuano Protestant Unity, Corner Stone International Fellowship, Fill the Gap Ministries, Full Gospel Church, Apostolic One Body, The Apostolic Pentecostal Church, Opuwo Christian Community Church, The Seventh Adventist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and Followers of Christ.
Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II organised the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy, on October 27, 1986.
All in all, there were 160 religious leaders spending the day together with fasting and praying to their God.
They represented 32 Christian religious organisations and 11 other non-Christian world religions then.