I couldn't resist the chuckle when I read the story about government ordering the arrest of American evangelists circulating pamphlets predicting the world will come to an end on 21 May 2011 :
Chief government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha accused the visiting Americans of spreading false news designed to cause panic in the country. “The group is contradicting the bible that teaches that no one knows when the world will come to an end,” Shikapwasha, who is also the Information Minister, told reporters in Lusaka.The Minister said Zambia as a Christian nation had no room for such “falsehood” and the people responsible should be arrested and deported to their native country, stressing that government has a duty to protect its nationals from receiving falsehood such as the one being spread by the visiting Americans.
Oh dear! Surely people have a right to deceive themselves? Also is the Minister really saying that people are not rational enough to pick up the Bible and check for themselves? In fact I happen to think that such actions cannot even be defended on biblical grounds, but that is another discussion. For the record I do defend Zambia remaining a "Christian nation" - see the post State and Religion. Though in practice, I do not think it carries any significance. Our nation has such wickedness including allowing women to give birth in public and in our jail cells. I defend the declaration simply as a matter of principle because I don't think you can build a viable and cohesive society without any cultural or religious underpinning.