THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN THE LAND DEBATE
AbstractThe issue of land is emotive and controversial. The colonisers allotted themselves land ignoring the African emotional and religious attachment to land. Churches ended up owning tracts of land from which original inhabitants had been mercilessly removed. Landlessness has become a mark of various population settlement patterns. The church is called on to be prophetic by partnering with victims for land re-allocation. The paper suggests four decisive steps that the church should take. These are firstly to advocate strategies to clarify, and secondly to entrench rights for the victims – bilateral agreements – with which the church is conversant with current policies regarding land in order to assist the dispossessed. Thirdly, to reach degrees of consensus which may contribute to amicable settlement of disputes that satisfy both parties and where majority decisions are respected. Finally, the church should promote dialogue, where dissenting parties should synergise towards a unified action to address the situation; or clarify any misunderstanding.
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