The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) will this year celebrate 100 years of its existence.
The organizations has been in existence since 1914 and has evolved with a change in names from the initial General Missionary Conference whose main responsibility was to promote cooperation between the missionary societies in areas such as education, health and religious broadcasting. The name was later changed to the Christian Council of Northern Rhodesia in 1944. At the eve of independence in 1963 there was pressing need for the Council to begin responding to the growing social demands of the local people. Upon independence in 1964 the CCNR changed its name to Christian Council of Zambia serving as an ecumenical organization to strengthen Christian unity and promotion of social justice, peace and development. High on the agenda at that time was the need to create Christian Councils in other parts of the country particularly on the Copper belt, along the line of rail and rural Zambia.
In achieving its goals, the CCZ devised a vision aimed at responding to the immediate challenges of a newly independent nation.
Over the years, through this vision, the Council’s scope of work began to expand with critical areas of concern such as education, youth development and women’s issues taking centre stage. Membership currently stands at 22 protestant and orthodox churches. Collectively, these churches command a considerable religious following in the country. In addition to these, the Council also enjoys the support of 19 affiliate organizations.