|Remember Rhodesia - Pray For Zimbabwe|
A Date with Destiny
47 years ago, on Thursday, 11 November 1965, at the most solemn moment of Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Ian Douglas Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, signed Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. This was at the height of the Cold War and Rhodesia was in the frontline of the battle against Soviet expansionism.
Refusing to Commit National Suicide
This act of defiance, which came after many months of negotiations and fruitless discussions with the British Foreign Office, resulted in a most extraordinary explosion of diplomatic activity, international outrage, economic sanctions and motions of condemnation from the British Commonwealth, the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations, the Soviet Union, and even from the US State Department.
Incredibly, Rhodesia was labelled: "A threat to world peace!" This from nations engaged in nuclear arms races and invasion of other lands! The Mau Mau massacres in Kenya and the murders of hundreds of missionaries in the Congo by Marxist revolutionaries did not warrant such international protests as Rhodesia's refusal to follow the crowd into communist chaos.
One commentator at the time observed that it was: "…strange that the United States should spend American blood and money like water in Vietnam in order to deter Communism from spreading a few hundred miles further; but that, due to some strange ethical kink, that same United States should be seeking to clear out of Africa those very people and governments that could effectively and forever bar the advance of Communism in that continent!" A.J.A. Peck, Rhodesia Accuses.
As the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Mr. Ian Smith, declared: "We were never beaten by our enemies, we were betrayed by our friends."
In the First and the Second World Wars, and in the Malayan Conflict, Rhodesia had provided more men, percentage to their population, than any other part of the British Empire and Commonwealth. However, when Rhodesia was targeted by Soviet and Red Chinese trained and supported revolutionaries, their British, Canadian, Australian and American allies not only placed economic sanctions on Rhodesia, but even channelled funds towards the very terrorists who were murdering their people.
It is often forgotten that Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF revolutionaries received United Nations (UN) funding, despite its terrorist record of murdering missionaries, bayoneting babies, burning to death congregations of Christians in their church buildings, ambushing Red Cross ambulances, exploding bombs in public streets, placing landmines in farm roads, and the cold-blooded murder of thousands of unarmed civilians. In fact, the World Council of Churches (WCC) also channelled church funds to these Marxists who were murdering missionaries and burning churches.
The Bitter Harvest
Now, the results of US State Department and British Foreign Office policy in the 1970s continues to wreck havoc on the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe. We need to remember that initially Robert Mugabe was held in very high regard by the West. He was supported by Jimmy Carter, given official visits to the United States and Britain, and many lifted him up as an ideal example of a wise and moderate African leader. Some even hailed Mugabe as "a modern day messiah."
Slaves of Corruption
When Mugabe's ZANU-PF Marxist revolutionaries were handed power in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, Bishop Tutu, of the South African Council of Churches, declared that this was: "The arrival of the Kingdom of God in Zimbabwe!". "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption." 2 Peter 2:19
Zimbabwe in Ruins
After the war came to an end and a peaceful settlement was enforced by Britain, optimism was high for Zimbabwe. Foreign aid from Britain, America and the European Union flooded the country. Today, 33 years later, that once prosperous and productive nation has been impoverished and devastated.
Carter's Bitter Legacy
Throughout the late 1970s it was a primary goal of US President Jimmy Carter's State Department to replace the strong anti-Communist government of Rhodesia with Mugabe's Zimbabwe. In the last 33 years, millions of lives have been ruined, and many tens of thousands of innocent people murdered as a result of this misguided policy.
Mugabe's Marxist Leninist Ideology
It is not as though ZANU had not clearly identified themselves as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement. Freely available in the 1970s, before the hand over of power by the British governor, Lord Soames, to Robert Mugabe, the "Basic Information About ZANU" leaflet stated: "ZANU is guided by the principles of Marxism/Leninism. It aims at achieving a socialist revolution. However, before the achievement of such a socialist revolution, a transitional stage of national democratic revolution is necessary. The national democratic revolutionary is a necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the national democratic revolution. The deeper the national democratic revolution, the better the conditions for socialist revolution."
Terrorist Track Record
Aside from the written and public pronouncements of ZANU and its leaders, the facts that they received such massive funding, training and military weaponry from Red China, North Korea and the Soviet Union should have provided some further clues. The track record of ZANU murdering missionaries, bayoneting babies and burning to death congregations of churches should have been further warning.
Accessories to Marxist Mass Murder
Nevertheless, the United Nations, the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, the European Community, the Organisation of African Unity, the Commonwealth, the World Council of Churches, the Olympic Committee, Time magazine, the Washington Post, and most of the media worldwide united in campaigning for the downfall of Rhodesia and the hand over of that once peaceful and productive country to the violent Marxist revolutionary, Robert Mugabe.
Remember Rhodesia's Resilience
This 11 November, as we remember the attempt by Rhodesia to make a stand against the advance of Communism in Africa, we should remember the many brave soldiers, and civilians, who gave their lives in that fight against terrorism and Marxism, and the many innocent victims of the terrorist onslaught.
In the Frontline
In 1976 Ian Anderson of the League of Rhodesia wrote the following: "From Thermopalae (480BC) to Malta (AD1565)…it has often fallen to a small community or people to give a moral examples to its larger and more powerful neighbours…in each case valuable breathing space was gained for other parties to rally to the cause and to complete the task so boldly initiated by faith."
Resisting Communist Aggression
"We in Rhodesia have a very strong sense of national purpose. We feel we have been singled out by Providence to be the stumbling block in the path of Communist aggression. There is yet time for the Western powers to put Rhodesia's stand in its historical perspective; but they are leaving it dangerously late…" (Rhodesia: Myths and Facts)
Holding the Line
In standing firm against Communist aggression for 15 years, Rhodesia indeed won valuable breathing space for the free world. In much the same way as the 300 Spartans held up the enormous invading force of Persians at Thermopalae, and as the courageous knights resisted the Islamic invasion of the small island of Malta, I believe that, in time, history will recognise that the sacrifices and courage of Rhodesians in resisting Communist terrorism contributed to the ultimate collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
For Faith and Freedom
Had Rhodesia not resisted, the consequences for freedom could have been absolutely disastrous. Had Southern Africa fallen to Communism during the Cold War, the strategic Cape sea route and vital minerals essential for Western industry and defence, would have fallen into the hands of the Soviet Union with catastrophic consequences.
The reign of terror and state sponsored terrorism of Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe have only vindicated Ian Smith's position on a qualified franchise and responsible government. In time it will become even clearer that in no small measure Ronald Reagan's successful stand against Communist expansion in the 1980s was made possible by Rhodesia's stand against Communist terrorism in the 60s and 70s.
An Example of Foreign Interference
The history of Rhodesia confirms the disastrous consequences of the unprecedented foreign interference and the rejection of Rhodesia's internal settlement. Even more seriously, there is a real danger of Mugabe's example of racist and lawless land invasions example in Zimbabwe being followed in Namibia and South Africa.
Remember the Suffering
The Scripture commands us to care for widows and orphans, to love our neighbours, to remember the prisoner, and to serve our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith. We also need to intercede for the millions of starving Christians of Zimbabwe today. Frontline Fellowship has been working in Zimbabwe since 1982. As the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated, so we have increased our activities into that desperately needy country.
Caring for Widows and Orphans
As the Zimbabwean government deliberately starved their citizens into submission, we had to smuggle many tonnes of food, relief aid and medicines to suffering Christians in Zimbabwe. Amidst the state orchestrated racial hatred, lawlessness and savagery, Frontline Fellowship Mission work in Zimbabwe became particularly difficult and dangerous. However, true Christianity cares for widows and the orphans in distress. We are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Pray for Zimbabwe
Please pray for the impact of the tonnes of Gospel literature which we are distributing throughout Zimbabwe, and do continue to lift up our field workers and the evangelists, pastors and teachers whom we are serving and equipping. The only hope for Zimbabwe is sincere Repentance, Biblical Reformation and spiritual Revival. Zimbabwe needs to repent before God and rebuild their nation on Biblical principles.
Pray for Justice
Please join us as we commit ourselves to pray, daily, for the removal of the Marxist regime in Zimbabwe. Join us as we pray through the Psalms, praying for God to expose the oppression and persecution of the anti-Christian regime in Zimbabwe, and as we pray for support and freedom for the longsuffering Christians of Zimbabwe.
"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them - those who are mistreated - since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3.
Persistent prayer, publicity and pressure provide protection for the persecuted (Luke 18:1-7). Pray for the Christians suffering in Zimbabwe. Mobilise your congregation and Bible study group to pray. Write to your elected representative to urge decisive political and economic pressure to be brought to bear against the Communist ZANU regime in Zimbabwe. Encourage your church to support missions of mercy to the suffering Christians in Zimbabwe. Phone, fax, or write to your nearest Zimbabwe embassy to protest against their racist and lawless policies of oppression.
"Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9
Visit www.frontline.org.za for updates and articles on the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Yours for Faith and freedom in Zimbabwe
Dr. Peter Hammond
See also other Zimbabwe articles, such as: