Message from arrested Zimbabwe clergy

 (On Tuesday we carried the story of an ecumenical group of church leaders, including a Catholic priest, who were arrested in Zimbabwe for praying outside a police station. Their case was heard yesterday and we have just received this letter from them.) Dear Friends, This is just to let you know that when the ten of us appeared in the Magistrates, Court this morning (the police haven't got around to serving the eleventh, Noel Scott, with a summons yet) the case was adjourned to Thursday, 7 November, when we expect the trial to proceed. Our lawyer has now had sight of an outline of the evidence the prosecution intend to rely on, and from his description of it my own assessment is that we have little reason to be concerned. But we have to remind ourselves that this is Zimbabwe and, with much of the police force and legal system heavily politicized, one cannot always be confident that justice will prevail. Thank you for your encouraging words of support and your faithfulness in prayer on our behalf. Much appreciated. Please continue to pray, and not only for us but for the scores of Zimbabweans, black and white, who are suffering continuous harassment, illegal arrest and detention and an unbelievable array of false charges. We need to remember in particular opposition activists, human rights, workers, journalists, lawyers (including retired judges !) and farmers who are particularly vulnerable to the abuse of the legal system. We remember Mary's song (Luke 1/46-55) and draw strength from the fact that our God has already performed "mighty deeds" and surely will again as he scatters "those who are proud in their inmost thoughts", "bringing down rulers from their thrones and lifting up the humble". Shalom in Him. Graham Shaw

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