Jesuits appeal for prayers for Zimbabwe elections

 The British Jesuits are appealing for prayers ahead of Saturday's elections in Zimbabwe. The country was part of the British Province until 1978, and the Jesuits of Zimbabwe are still supported by Jesuit Missions in the UK. The election on 29 March is at four levels and the people will have the opportunity to vote for the president and their member of parliament, as well as local and regional elected officials. "There has been much speculation as to whether the outcome of the election will be a true reflection of the will of the people," said Father Tim Curtis SJ, the Director of Jesuit Missions. "We are calling for special prayers for the country on Saturday 29 March and on Sunday 30 March, when, hopefully, results will be announced. Let our prayer be that the will of the people be respected in this election process." The Society of Jesus has 175 Jesuits living and working in Zimbabwe, with around 40 of them originally from Britain. Arrupe College, the school of philosophy for Jesuits in training, is situated in Harare and attracts young Jesuits from many neighbouring African countries. The Society also runs missions and schools which serve the people of this very needy country. The following prayer was composed by the Roman Catholic bishops of Zimbabwe, and is also available on the Jesuit Missions web site: God Our Father, You have given all peoples one common origin, And your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Give compassion to our leaders, integrity to our citizens, and repentance to us all. Fill the hearts of all women and men with your love And the desire to ensure justice for all their brothers and sisters. By sharing the good things you give us May we ensure justice and equality for every human being, An end to all division, and a human society built on love, Lasting prosperity and peace for all. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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