When Governments Stumble: Lessons from Zimbabwe's Past, Hope in Africa's Future

Author(s): Ben Freeth


Ben Freeth established his credentials to write on this topic through his courageous and successful resistance to the bullying tactics employed by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe to throw him and his family off their land, a story told in Mugabe and the White African. He now throws his net wider to ask: what response should Christians make to corruption and injustice when perpetrated by governments? Justice is a fundamental aspect of the Judeo-Christian faith. Ben explores this theme through his own experience of government oppression in Zimbabwe, and through contemporary instances where Christians have - or have not - stood up to be counted. He considers the Biblical injunction to obey your rulers, and examines the issues of fear and complacency: sometimes Christians are compromised by their relationship with the ruling group. What is our duty? Most Christians feel powerless. What can we actually do, as individuals, and as a group?


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"A must read for Christians who take Jesus at his word, believing we must be "salt" and "light" in an unjust world." -- Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town "Jesus invaded Ben's horror story with astonishing grace. He stirs us to passion, longing, and hope. May his testimony persuade many to pursue truth and justice in our own lands." -- Jackie Pullinger MBE "You are holding a prophetic book that is both profoundly disturbing and challenging. This step-by-step expose is an articulate universal call for socio-political justice that must not go unheeded. Let not Zimbabwe's extreme pain be in vain." -- Alexander F. Venter - Pastor, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Johannesburg "Ben Freeth is a man of strong Christian faith - full of love and forgiveness for those who have brought great suffering upon him and his family. In this book, he looks at what it means to be persecuted for one's faith and the times when God calls upon the church to make a stand. It is a reminder that our faith is nothing if we are not prepared to give everything." -- Revd Nicky Gumbel, pioneer of Alpha and Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London "This book is a very courageous endeavour to bring to light the terrible injustices in Zimbabwe. It appeals to all Christian people to be faithful to what God is asking us to do: to stand for truth and not to forget justice, mercy, and faithfulness. I believe this book will be used mightily. It is a compelling read." -- General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, Chief of the General Staff 2006-2009 "Ben Freeth raises the fundamental question of, what would Christ do in the face of gross injustice and extreme violations of human rights? His exploration of his faith, as the wellspring of his values, shows that the answer lies within the reach of us all." -- Alice Mogwe, Director, Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights "In the vehicle of a brutal dictatorship, fear is the petrol that keeps the engine going," writes Ben Freeth. He calls on the church to fulfil its Godordained role to challenge injustice and unrighteousness, and individuals to rally behind the truth so that the curtain of lies and deception that keep ruthless regimes in power can be torn down." -- Sir Ranulph Fiennes, British explorer and author "This piece of work is an excellent account of what happens when rulers fail. It is done according to the one real test of a successful ruler, namely whether that ruler succeeded or failed his or her God-given calling to uphold true justice and to protect the lives, dignity and property of his or her subordinates." -- Willie Spies, legal representative: AfriForum, South Africa "It is a long, long road, the road to justice and peace in Zimbabwe. Ben Freeth's personal story of standing up to violence and intimidation by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe sets us a challenge - one way or another wherever we face oppression, we must all take our stand. Black and white together, we must stand for justice, and pray for peace. Love and justice must pervade our environment if we are to embrace peace." -- Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York "Standing for justice under a dictatorship is the Mount Everest of faith. When law and order are stripped away - along with your home, livelihood and possessions - you can only depend on God" -- Bear Grylls, in his Foreword "Freeth's book is timely; the church in the West sits under governments moving steadily away from Judeo-Christian principles and gradually faces the effects of persecution.' -- John Richards evangelicals now

Ben Freeth MBE is a British-born Zimbabwean farmer who successfully sued President Robert Mugabe in an international court in 2008. Since winning the suit he has been abducted, tortured and repeatedly harassed, and his farm was burnt to the ground. Ben is the author of Mugabe and the White African which tells his family's story. The story has already been the subject of a documentary which won Best Documentary 2009 (British Independent Film Awards), was nominated for the BAFTA Outstanding Debut Film 2010, and shortlisted for an Oscar in 2010. Ben has lived in Zimbabwe for most of his life and is raising his three young children there, together with his wife Laura. Freeth was one of 44 people worldwide who was invited to Buckingham Palace in 2010 to receive an MBE award from the Queen. Ben has appeared on the BBC TV Andrew Marr Show, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, BBC TV HARDtalk, as well as speaking at a number of festivals on the subjects covered in his book. He has been instrumental in setting up the Mike Campbell Foundation which is striving to bring about the restoration of justice, the rule of law and human rights to Zimbabwe and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations.

General Fields

  • : 9780857213747
  • : Lion Hudson Plc
  • : Monarch Books
  • : October 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Ben Freeth
  • : Paperback
  • : 224