HOME Affairs Deputy Minister Alfredah Kansembe has urged prisoners to embrace God and use their time in prison to gain skills that will help them become better citizens.
Ms Kasembe said it was important for inmates to seek to change their way of life and contribute to national development.
She said this during the commissioning of Kansenshi Prison Chapel in Ndola yesterday.
The chapel was constructed by Central African Baptist College and Seminary at a cost of K150, 000.
Ms Kasembe said the Government valued chapels in prisons because they were the only facilities that inmates could use to reflect on their action during their incarceration.
She said it was important for the inmates to celebrate and express their religious beliefs, while they were in incarceration.
“A chapel is the right centre for a prisoner’s life, it is the only source of hope and salvation for inmates, especially those serving long sentences,” she said.
Ms Kasembe said there were only four prisons in Zambia that were built with chapels, and that it had been a big challenge for the Zambia Prisons Service to deliver religious programmes, especially in the rainy season.
She said it was only Mukobeko Maximum in Kabwe, Livingstone, Kamfinsa and Kasempa that had chapels, while inmates in other facilities were fellowshipping in open spaces.
The deputy minister called on all stakeholders to assist the Government in building chapels in prisons.
Commissioner of Prisons Percy Chato said the Prisons Service was committed to encouraging the right to freedom of conscience and religion in rehabilitation centres through the construction of chapels.
Mr Chato said the chapels were important facilities that did a lot in correctional services.
African Baptist College and Seminary president, Philip Haunt called on gospel preaching churches to partner with the prisons service in the delivery of religious programmes.
SOURCE: Times of Zambia