Zimbabwe arrests activists over protests

By February 24, 2011

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe's government arrested nearly four
dozen people for allegedly plotting an Egyptian-styled coup.

However, news reports indicated that those arrested were
watching videos of the protests. There
is some concern that the exposure to the uprising could plant similar seeds in
Zimbabwe, where discontent is rife.

President Robert Mugabe has been in power since 1980, but in
the last decade his country has been in an unprecedented economic crisis. Over the last few months, proposed election
plans led to clashes between supporters of the ruling party and those of the
main opposition, but whether or not they were enough to oust Mugabe is doubtful
because of tight control of the security forces.  

Dean Yoder with Christian World Outreach spoke with a
staff member on Wednesday morning. "It's
day by day. Right now, things have subsided. I don't want to say ‘peaceful' — that
gives the wrong impression, but it is much better than it was."

Asked if unrest has had a disruptive effect on their outreach, Yoder said, "At the very peak of the violence and rioting, yes, because it's
difficult to travel around, and you have to be careful when you are out."

Disruption has an immediate impact on the people Christian World Outreach is
helping. Yoder explains, "We feed 500
AIDS orphans. We take care of them, feed them, clothe them, and educate them. Every weekend, we take them to our facility
for a weekend retreat where they are taught the Gospel."

CWO is a trusted name in Zimbabwe. The ministry began working there in 2004, and aside from helping AIDS orphans, they hold leadership development programs.

The goal of leadership training is to provide individuals
with skills that can be used to improve the conditions in churches, schools,
and communities. Pastors learn how to deal with the practical
and spiritual questions people are facing on a daily basis.

With the conditions ripe for mass anti-government protests,
"pray for the safety, obviously, of our staff there, that they would be
safe as they travel around. Pray for the children because often they are
victims of the circumstance."

There's more detail about CWO in Zimbabwe here.

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