Bishops release statement denouncing xenophobia
The Anglican bishops of Southern Africa today condemned an anonymous call on social media for attacks on immigrants in Pretoria. They said no grievance justified violent attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa.
“We appeal for all to act within the law and not to abuse the right to protest by fomenting hatred, division and violence,” the church’s Synod of Bishops said.
The synod was responding to reports of a march against foreign nationals planned in Pretoria on Friday.
The full text of the Synod’s statement follows:
The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, meeting in Benoni, is deeply concerned at the potential for violence at the march against immigrants planned in Pretoria tomorrow, following the xenophobic attacks we have seen in Rosettenville and Pretoria West in recent days.We condemn in the strongest of terms the cowardly person or persons who incite violence against foreigners in the social media, and we call upon the police to investigate and prosecute the culprits.
We appeal for all to act within the law and not to abuse the right to protest by fomenting hatred, division and violence.We support the statement of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference that no grievance justifies violent attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa. We also agree with the SACBC on the urgent need to address the competition for limited resources, public services and economic opportunities between foreigners and the unemployed poor in South Africa.South Africans and all people of God, we exort you: Love one another as God has loved us! God bless Africa.