The bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for prayers of peace for Zimbabwe, which is witnessing violence in the aftermath of presidential and parliamentary elections. Here is the statement from the Council of Bishops:

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is joining our colleague, Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, the resident bishop of Zimbabwe, in a call for prayers for peace in that country. We join with international observers in their commendation of the great majority of people of Zimbabwe in their maturity amidst this historic election. We appeal also for calmness in the midst of great anxiety, and we condemn all forms of violence as the country awaits the full results of the election. We grieve the deaths of those who have participated in this democratic process. We extend our sympathy, acknowledge their pain and stand with all peace-loving Zimbabweans.

The United Methodist Church rejoices in the faithfulness of the people of Zimbabwe, where The United Methodist Church has two annual conferences, hundreds of churches, mission centers, hospitals, clinics and schools. We especially hold in our prayers the students, staff and leadership of Africa University, one of our crown jewels of Methodist education in Africa. As brothers and sisters in Christ who share in the Cross and the Flame, we call upon the name of Jesus Christ, who is our peace (Ephesians 2), and we search for the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) in these events.

We call upon all United Methodists and other people of faith throughout the world to join in prayers that peace will prevail in Zimbabwe.

Bishop Kenneth H. Carter
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa
Resident Bishop, Zimbabwe Area
The United Methodist Church