Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said it is critical for the church and the government to unite to solve spiritual and physical problems that affect society, the official New Ziana reported on Tuesday.
When meeting the visiting Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodore II, at Zimbabwe House on Monday, Mugabe said, "We have a common purpose as Christians although, as we work in government, we are taking care of the body and mind."
Pope Theodore described Zimbabwe as "the diamond of Africa", adding, it has the potential for future success.
"I always tell the people that Zimbabwe is the diamond of Africa. I wish prosperity, health and joy to the people of Zimbabwe. There is a future for Zimbabwe, a great future and you will see," he told journalists after the meeting.
Greece Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Alexandrias Demetri, said Zimbabwe had the potential to do well. Despite the criticism Zimbabwe had received from the European Union of which Greece is a part, he said, the country had its own views about the southern African nation.
The Pope, who is the head of all Orthodox Christians in Africa, previously served as Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Zimbabwe for two years and has also worked in Cameroon among other African countries.
While commonly referred to as Greek Orthodox, the term refers not only to Greek nationals, but also to people who adhere to Byzantine tradition.