Ray Motsi, Ph.D., held a lecture on the struggle for basic human rights, the conflict in Zimbabwe, and the church’s response to that conflict. Motsi has dedicated his life to combatting the conflict in Zimbabwe through peace- building and non-violence. Twenty people attended the event, and his message was well received.
Motsi was was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He left Zimbabwe at the age of 19 and attended college in England. After he graduated, he learned that there had been a massacre. This massacre was part of Robert Mugabe’s Gukurahundi Conflict. Motsi did not believe the momentous effects of the massacre when people talked about it until he experienced it firsthand. He knew it was time to take a stand and make a change.
Motsi stated that, in the Bible, the government is supposed to be an instrument of good. When the government is not an instrument of good, we have two choices; stand and support it, or fight against it.
His government lied to the UN, World Food Organization, and others, claiming that only 20 percent of the population was malnourished when it was closer to 60 percent. Motsi chose to stand up and fight. He has been arrested multiple times. His subversive activities include trying to feed people and speaking out against the government.
He spoke about his church back home in Zimbabwe and what they were doing to combat violations of human rights. He says that the church in Zimbabwe as a whole does not really have a concept of spirituality. There is nothing to differentiate the church from the government.
He gave a call to action to the church to stand up and be a separate entity from the government. Motsi says that the church needs to encourage people to become the salt of the earth that Jesus called us to be. He says that it is crucial not to be divided by political parties like Republican and Democrat, or to be divided by nationalities, but to be Christian first and foremost. He said not to stay away from politics, but to be familiar with the issues without being too involved in a political party.
In the question and answer period, Motsi had a final prophetic word for America: what is happening in Zimbabwe is not that different from other countries. Do not be fooled by false security in America. God calls all of us to stand up for what we think is right, regardless of our situation. He also said that he was honored to be in Zimbabwe because that helps him to be the Christian that God calls him to be.
Motsi is currently the director of Grace to Heal and president of the Theological College of Zimbabwe.
-Daniel Barnhart, Staff Writer; photo credit, Michelle Mitchell