Cleric in Zambia Urges Standing Together, “unity of purpose” in Fight against COVID-19

Fr. Cleophas Lungu delivering a homily at Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka.

A Cleric ministering in Zambia has, during an ecumenical prayer service against COVID-19, called on the people of God in the Southern African nation to “stand together” in the fight against the pandemic.

“Let us remember that as we fight against this pandemic, there is a need for unity of purpose,” the Secretary General of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), Fr. Cleophas Lungu said during his Sunday, February 14 homily at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka.

Fr. Lungu added, “We need to put our usual tribal, regional, religious and political differences aside and stand together as one Zambia, one nation, until we overcome.”

He decried the complacency among a section of the public in observing COVID-19 protocols, likening them to Jesus’ disciples who, despite their master teaching them the Word of God in parables, “failed to apply the Gospel in their life situation” when the storm struck in the sea.

“Even today, many people are taught what to do. However, when one goes to Soweto or COMESA Market, it is as if these people are living on a COVID-free planet,” Fr. Lungu said, and added, “Oftentimes, there is no adherence of the COVID-19 guidelines.”


The ecumenical service was organized by the Christian leaders of the ‘Three Church Mother Bodies’, including ZCCB, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ).

In his homily February 14, Fr. Lungu drew parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the storm in the sea saying, “In the wake of the second Wave of COVID-19, which has proved to be more vicious, easily transmissible and so deadly, we find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel, we have been caught off guard by the unexpected, a turbulent storm.”

Underscoring the value of unity in fighting the pandemic, the Zambian Cleric made reference to Pope Francis saying that in the new normal created by the pandemic, “we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, fearful and confused, all of us called to journey together, each of us in need of comforting the other.”

“On this boat … no one is immune from contagion. The problem is that we are all at risk. However, the good news is that we can all be part of the solution,” he went on to say during the service that was streamed live on Facebook.

“Just like those disciples, who cried anxiously with one we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only in acting together can we overcome this and many other problems we face as Zambians,” Fr. Lungu said.

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He implored “for the spirit of unity in the country and the spirit of solidarity.”

“An army of well-organized ants can defeat and conquer an Elephant,” he said, adding, “We can do it! Let us work together and relegate the Coronavirus disease into history.”

Organized under the theme, “In God We Put Our Trust,” the prayer service came at a time when the landlocked country just like Southern African nations has recorded a spike in what has been reported as the second wave of COVID-19, reportedly caused by a new strain of the disease. 

On 30 December 2020, Zambia’s Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya said that the country had confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain identified as 501.V2 variant, which was first recorded in South Africa.

"We have seen clearly the pandemic returning with increased numbers. This clearly shows that the second wave is here. The call to action is for us to respond," the Minister was quoted as saying.


The country has recorded at least 70,248 cases of COVID-19, and 63,262 recoveries. At least 959 people among them Bishop Moses Hamungole of Zambia’s Monze Diocese have succumbed to complications related to the disease.

Amid the pandemic, “instead of being overcome with fear and despair, the Lord is inviting us to be people of faith and disciples who put their trust in God,” Fr. Lungu said in his February 14 homily.

That Jesus slept amid the storm in the sea is a lesson to the people of God in Zambia that “in times of danger and calamity, we should not lose our sense of God and fail to put our trust in him,” the ZCCB Secretary General advised.

“Let us make this our prayer today. That we may not forget God even in the midst of COVID-19 and that Christ may be alive in us – Christus Vivit and thus inspire us to act in a Christian way to each other and especially act with love and compassion towards the sick in our midst,” Fr. Lungu said February 14.