Human rights : the tension and conflict between church and state in Malawi : 2004-2012

Mbaya, Henry (2014)

Please cite as follows:

Mbaya, H. 2014. Human rights: the tension and conflict between church and state in Malawi: 2004-2012. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, 55(1): 249-264, doi:10.5952/55-1-2-524.

The original publication is available at


In this paper, I show the critical role played by the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Churches with regard to the government’s abuse of human rights in Malawi in the years 2004 to 2012. I argue that the Protestant and Catholic leaders’ response to Bingu wa Mutharika’s government’s violation of human rights was influenced by a number of factors: first, the Church leaders’ perceptions of Wa Mutharika’s uneasiness about their critical voice. Second were the Church leaders’ perceptions of the weak position of the government. Finally, I argue that though not always uniform or consistent, the churches’ prophetic voice was occasionally undermined by their partisan interests, which sometimes were exploited by the government.

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