The Church & the Challenge of Democratization in Africa
Fundamental to democracy is the principle that ALL people are equal
before the law. In a democracy, all individuals and groups may feely
exercise their right to practice their right to practice their
cultures, religious, and languages so long as that exercise does not
infringe upon the rights of others or violate legitimate criminal laws.
This equality includes freedom from discrimination based on gender,
race, color, ethnic origin, birth, religion, social or economic
standing, political opinion or disability.
5. Political and Ethnic Tolerance
In order for our democracy to succeed, we all must be tolerant of
the views, beliefs, and ideas of others, including those views, beliefs
and ideas you might find to be objectionable or contrary tow hat you
believe. Those in power must respect the right of those out of power to
assemble, associate, petition, run for political office and otherwise
participate in the affairs of their government. Those out of power are
often referred to as “the opposition” because they may have ideas that
are different from the majority. Divisive politics undermines unity in
our democracy by alternating various groups.
In addition, our democratic society is one that is usually composed
of people from many different cultures, racial, religious, and ethnic
groups who have divergent views on many important issues.
Church has to participate in the process of educating people about
these principles of Democracy as they make the religion relevant to the
needs of the people/believers. Some of these principles link faith and
deeds. Faith without action will not help someone to attain salvation.
Promoters of human rights for the sake of protecting human dignity are
The success of any religion is only meaningful if it promotes human dignity.
The democratic principles are the corner stone for evangelization.
The Church in Africa has two books to use for salvation of mankind: The
Bible and Universal Declaration for Basic Human Rights (1948).
Government leaders and religious ones in their togetherness for
protection of human dignity on earth have the Universal Declaration for
human rights (1948) as their common tool.
Knowing, promoting, respecting and protecting Human Rights by the
Rule of Law is the responsibility of the state (people, territory and
Thank you for listening.
By: Dr. Charles H. Kitima |
Lecturer in Laws and Vice Chancellor of St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) -