IMBISA COMMUNIQUE ON XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Leaders of all SADC Countries
The Catholic Community of Southern Africa
All people of goodwill within the Southern African Region
The Standing Committee of the lnter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (lMBISA) writes this statement in response to the recent incidents of xenophobia that have rocked South Africa. The xenophobic acts have resulted in several deaths and countless injured, many of whom
were foreign nationals.
To this end, the IMBISA Standing Committee unequivocally supports the statement issued on the 4th September 2019 by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Office for Migrants and Refugees. The deplorable actions that we have witnessed cannot be condoned in any way nor can they be hidden behind words that hide the real terror of xenophobia.
We extend our prayers and thoughts to every victim and their families at this time of bewildering violence. May they be comforted by the hand of the Holy Spirit.
We implore the home nations of those affected, not to raise the stakes by responding in revenge with violence. We believe that most South Africans, from all walks of life, are also appalled at what their fellow countrymen have done. As these South Africans extend their hand of apology and friendship, we urge you to take those hands and work together towards a peaceful future.
Southern Africa is a region of rich diversity and such a promising future but also with a painful history. May every Catholic, Christian, people of other faiths and all people of goodwill join hands to fight this scourge which can only harm the future of our region, for us and for our future generations.
IMBISA invites all communities to set aside a day of prayer to ask God to look kindly on us and our region. The prophet Jeremiah (7:6-7) once again reminds us that “if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave forever to your ancestors of old“.
Bishop Lucio Andrice MUANDULA
President of IMBISA
11 September 2O19