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Bishops in Zambia Caution against “de-Christianization” amid Secularization, Materialism

Logo of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB). Credit: ZCCB

Members of the Zambia Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCCB) have, in their Advent message, cautioned Christians in the Southern African nation against giving in to “secularization and materialism” and ending up in what they term “de-Christianization”.

In a statement issued Tuesday, December 14, Catholic Bishops in Zambia say the “de-Christianization” justifies “the urgency for a New Evangelization in which every Christian faithful is expected to play an active role.”

“When we look at the world around us with a critical eye, we are able to realize the worldwide fast spreading processes of de-Christianization sustained by secularization and materialism. Some of our Christian faithful have lost their faith in God,” the Catholic Church leaders say in the Advent message signed by ZCCB Secretary General, Fr. Francis Mukosa.

ZCCB members add that Christians are becoming more concerned about making sure they do not lose what they have on this earth than to allow God to take a lead in their personal lives and that of their families; while others are preoccupied with accommodating modern ideologies on life, marriage and the family.

The concentration on material things “has led to a generalized crisis of faith”, Catholic Bishops in Zambia say.

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ZCCB members add, “Some Christians among us do not get involved in aggressively reaching out to the lost, hurt and scattered ‘sheep’ because either they have lost their faith or they have not been sufficiently initiated in the Christian faith.”

“However, we often miss Advent's power because this period is usually full of preparations for secular Christmas parties. Each year, the businesses around us serve to distract us from having an Advent Season that truly prepares us for the celebration of the coming of the Lord, with its full meaning,” Catholic Bishops in Zambia say.

“There is urgency to reconstitute a society that is God centered,” ZCCB members say in their three-page Advent message, and urge Christians to renew their actions, speech, attitudes and deeds.

 “We need to renew the way we speak,” they say, adding, “Our speech reveals what kind of a person/Christian we are.”

Christians “need to renew the way we act”, ZCCB members say. 

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“As the saying goes: ‘Action speaks louder than words,’” they say, and add, “St. Pope Paul VI once said that today we don't need good teachers; what we need are witnessing teachers.”  

The Catholic Bishops further call on followers of Christ in the country “to renew our attitude.”

“We have so many attitudes that need to be renewed like boastfulness, fault finding, misbehavior, indifferentism, work culture and others,” ZCCB members say.

They also call upon Christians to renew their deeds saying, “If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.”

On the other hand, the Catholic Bishops continue, “if a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident. If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative. Therefore, we should always be mindful of the people around us in all we do.”

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“The Lord expects to be welcomed when he comes. Let us take advantage of this season of Advent to get ready for that great day. The rest of the world may sleep, but we, ‘the children of light and day’ must stay awake; always on the lookout for the master's coming; always on our guard,” ZCCB members say in their December 14 Advent message.