Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspective, and more.
Here we talk about developments for secularism in Zimbabwe in 2020/2021, Mubarak Bala, and Zimbabwean humanists.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What have been the developments in 2020/2021 for secularism in Zimbabwe?
Takudzwa Mazwienduna: 2020 and 2021 have been difficult years for secularism in Zimbabwe. The African Apostolic Church is a denomination of fundamentalist Christianity that has the majority of rural Zimbabweans who are 70% of the population. They forbid members to get medical help and discourage scientific medicine in favor of prayers from their leaders. They also conduct child marriages with 11 to 14 year old brides getting married into polygamous marriages every year. The worst part is that they are the ruling party ZANU PF’s biggest support base and so they get endorsed by the government, especially during election time and that’s the biggest threat to Zimbabwean secularism.
Jacobsen: What is the growth of the Nones — the atheists, agnostics, and nothing in particulars — in Zimbabwe in 2020/2021?
Mazwienduna: The Zimbabwean secular community continues to grow steadily, with more people joining our online forums every year.
Jacobsen: How are Zimbabwean humanists viewing the case of Mubarak Bala?
Mazwienduna: Zimbabwean Humanists and Atheists are enraged by his arbitrary arrests. They also feel the frustration and helplessness of not being able to do something about it.
Jacobsen: What are some similar cases — less prominent — happening with Zimbabwean humanists as we speak?
Mazwienduna: Fortunately, there are no cases of Humanists getting persecuted or censored in Zimbabwe thanks to our country’s secular law. The only case that poses a threat to secularism is the government’s support for and association with the fundamentalist African Apostolic Church.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.
*Associates and resources listing last updated May 31, 2020.*
Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, Centre for Inquiry Canada, Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.
Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du Québec, Atheist Freethinkers, Central Ontario Humanist Association, Comox Valley Humanists, Grey Bruce Humanists, Halton-Peel Humanist Community, Hamilton Humanists, Humanist Association of London, Humanist Association of Ottawa, Humanist Association of Toronto, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, Ontario Humanist Society, Secular Connextions Seculaire, Secular Humanists in Calgary, Society of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph), Thunder Bay Humanists, Toronto Oasis, Victoria Secular Humanist Association.
Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Associação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Centre, Atheist Foundation of Australia, The Brights Movement, Center for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist Ireland, Camp Quest, Inc., Council for Secular Humanism, De Vrije Gedachte, European Humanist Federation, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist International, Humanist Association of Germany, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist Society of Scotland, Humanists UK, Humanisterna/Humanists Sweden, Internet Infidels, International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, James Randi Educational Foundation, League of Militant Atheists, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, National Secular Society, Rationalist International, Recovering From Religion, Religion News Service, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, The Clergy Project, The Rational Response Squad, The Satanic Temple, The Sunday Assembly, United Coalition of Reason, Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.
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Image Credit: Takudzwa Mazwienduna.