STATEMENT ON XENOPHOBIA ATTACKS ON FOREIGN CITIZENS LIVING IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA and ABDUCTIONS, RAPE OF ABDUCTED GIRLS AND KILLINGS OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA
“Do not ill-treat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would a fellow Israelite, and, love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord of your God”. (Leviticus –19: 33 – 34).
The Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa has learnt with deep shock and utter disbelief, of the unfortunate acts of xenophobia perpetrated by some of the South African citizens on foreign citizens living in that country. It defeats logic, to find people of South Africa committing such acts, on people who supported and symphathised with them and welcomed them in their countries when the apartheid regime discriminated against them and made their lives difficult in their own country.
Those who came to Lesotho were warmly welcomed and treated like fellow Africans. They were never discriminated against. Instead they lived and mixed freely with Basotho, without being accommodated in the so called ‘refugee camps’. This gesture resulted in some of Lesotho’s citizens being killed alongside the South African refugees when the apartheid regime attacked those refugees who lived in this country. Now that South Africa has been liberated, is this the reward that we get from South African citizens, we ask? Surely history tells that we deserve better from South Africa.
We wish to sincerely request the South African Government to strongly condemn these acts, and to employ measures that will not only curb this, but also put a total end to it.
Equally disturbing to the Church, are reports of abductions of schoolgirls, rapes and killings of Christians, conducted by members of Boko-Haram in Nigeria. We condemn in the strongest terms these abominable acts carried out by people who profess to know God. We also wish to call upon the Nigerian Government to step up efforts to stop these acts of this nature as the prophet Isaiah once said: “You are always planning something evil, and you can hardly wait to do it. You never hesitate to murder innocent people. You leave ruin and destruction wherever you go, and no one is safe when you are about. Everything you do is unjust. You follow a crooked path, and none who walks that path will ever be safe”. (Isaiah–59: 7–8).
We appeal to all Christians to pray for all those who have been affected by these senseless acts. Please remember all the refugees in South Africa, to find true peace of mind and body. Pray for God’s mercy on abducted girls in Nigeria, to be found and released by their captors. Also pray that God gives the Nigerian Government wisdom to overcome that situation and find a lasting solution to the problem.
Rev. N. K. Posholi, LECSA Executive Secretary Rev. T. S. Masemene, LECSA Moderator