The Zambian kwacha—what some are currently calling the “world’s worst currency”—has been falling against the dollar for most of the past year. This currency crisis prompted Zambian President Edgar Lungu to call for a national day of prayer and fasting last Sunday.
“I personally believe that since we humbled ourselves and cried out to God, the Lord has heard our cry,” Lungu said in an address on Sunday. “I appeal to all of you to do your best and leave the rest to God.”
The 1996 constitution designates Zambia officially as a Christian nation, and about 80 percent of the 15 million people identify as Christian. The event reportedly gained broad support from Zambia’s churches.
“God is a god of miracles and if we ask him, he will bless us and the kwacha shall be restored to its former strength and the prices of goods shall again go down,” Bishop Simon Chihana, president of the International Fellowship of Christian Churches in Zambia, told AFP.
But some critics of the Zambian government believe the appeal is a distraction.
“Is it God who caused those sufferings for you to go back to him and say, ‘No you have done this and that and we want you to reverse your decision?’” said Chief Ntambu, a tribal leader.
“No matter how many prayers you make it doesn’t change the fact that you have a fiscal deficit and you’re not doing anything to reduce that fiscal deficit,” Trevor Simumba, managing director at Sub-Saharan Consulting Group Zambia told Bloomberg Business. “We know God can do miracles, but He cannot change things that are facts on the ground.”