Zimbabwe: church minister arrested after prayers for peace

 On Saturday morning, an Anglican minister was arrested by police in Bulawayo after taking part in an interchurch service for peace, according to several local reports. At 9am, a congregation had gathered at the Catholic church of Christ the King in the suburb of Hillside, Bulawayo to pray for Zimbabwe. At the end of the service they had planned to walk about a mile to the Presbyterian church, as an act of witness. The police banned the procession saying they could not guarantee anyone's safety. The group then decided to drive at funeral pace, to the church. They stopped on the way for prayers at the Methodist church and the Anglican church of the Ascension. The police were present throughout. At the end of the final service a policeman took the Rector, Rev Noel Scott, to one side and asked him to come to the police station. After being kept there for an hour, Rev Scott was taken, together with several other clergy and lay people, to Central Bulawayo Police station. By last night there was no news of Rev Scott. A spokesman said: "There seems to be nothing with which he can be charged. He has committed no crime. He had applied for permission to hold a procession although he had no response from the police." He said: "Nine months ago Rev Scott underwent open heart surgery and he needs regular medication. He has been Rector of the Church of the Ascension for 35 years, and is much loved and respected by a wide circle of people which goes far beyond the Anglican community."

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