From a symbol of resistance and hope, a pastor who galvanized thousands of Zimbabweans into anti-government action has become a subject of derision, fighting accusations of being a coward.
CHR Comment: Pastor Evan Mawarire’s decision to leave Zimbabwe, where he had launched social media campaigns raising issues of leadership, is causing discussion of whether one should retreat when facing persecution. This is an old question, going back to the early years of Christianity when government and local mob persecutions often took the lives of believers. Early Christians argued both sides of the issue, whether to stay and suffer persecution or to flee and continue to serve in a new place and way.
Below is a link to the writings of Athanasius who fled persecution and shares his thoughts on the issues. The second link is to a treatise by Tertullian, who discouraged flight from persecution.
Source: Zimbabwe: Supporters fume after protest pastor leaves for US – The Washington Post
Evan Mawarire has become a national hero but said he has to “rethink” his return to the country after Mugabe named him and questioned whether he is serving God.
CHR Comment: Pastor Mawarire’s social media based protest raised questions about how involved ministers and Christians should become in political protest. Mawarire defends his actions by pointing out the need to denounce injustice.
Source: #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire: ‘I am not abandoning Zimbabwe’ | Christian News on Christian Today
The activism of the Rev. Evan Mawarire, who organized the country’s largest protests in a decade, has galvanized public outrage over the president’s rule.
CHR Comment: Pres. Mugabe, a longstanding controversial figure, is 92 years old and near the end of his career. Rev. Mawarire was making an effort to hasten the end.
Source: Pastor in Zimbabwe Is Arrested as Anger Toward Robert Mugabe Builds – The New York Times