The Prophet Samuel Radebe-headed Revelation Church of God has raised the eyebrows of many after it emerged that the South African Christian interdenominational fellowship with traditional healers popularly known as Sangomas in the region.
The epiphany was made during its Health Walk and Family Day at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo in a tender to stimulate healthy living, Africanism and family solidarity.
The church is based on African spirituality and is disciplined to revive and recall indigenous people to their spiritual roots.
“Mholi” Nkululeko Zondo, one of the church leaders, told NewsDay’s Patricia Sibanda and Darlington Mwashita that the church taught congregants the importance of ubuntu and not to forsake their African spiritual identities.
“We are urging congregants to look back where they came from in terms of African traditional religion as many have totally deserted their cultural backgrounds. Our church is open to anyone, be it from Zion or Apostolic churches. We do not discriminate. Our doctrine is that we are not here to judge anyone, hence you will find that we also worship together with sangomas and traditional healers,” he said.
Zondo added that they were working hand in hand with African traditional healers to balance African and Christian creeds and that it was key that people keep their African heritage and identity.
He said many people were now Eurocentric at the expense of African traditions and religion.
“The roots of a black person are not white, they are black…there is no nation with no religion or culture, hence we should not put more focus on Christian religion only. You will find out that most countries in Africa are called Christian countries because we practise Christianity which is a colonial religion. We need to be selective of what we adopt from the West as Christianity came with missionaries to replace African religion and culture.”
Conforming to Zondo, Africa does not need only politicians to be built up, rather it demands divine guidance.
“Politicians need to work with spiritual guidance to lead Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, in northern Cameroon, there are factions of Christianity who cherish their ancestors and use their own cultural heritage for forming their Christian identity.
Most of these keep a jar representing their ancestors in a prominent place in the household. The pra, as they are famously called, indicates the continuing life of those who have gone before—the deceased members of the family and the wider community whose lives are still being expressed in and through the living.
The custodians of this new form of indigenous Christianity called the African Theology asserts that the practice can augment one’s interpretation of the rapport of saints and of the body of Christ through time. It can challenge the individualistic approach of Western Christianity by recognising the corporate nature of salvation.
The Christian case for reverencing ancestors has been forcefully made by two theologians, Kwame Bediako, Ghanaian Presbyterian and Jean-Marc Ela, a Catholic from Cameroon.
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