Zionists in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

venbedevenbede Shipmate
edited October 15 in Purgatory
Browzing Whittakers Almanac over my breakfast, as one does, I note that 40 % of the population of Swaziland are Zionist, the largest religious group (together with 20 % Roman Catholic, 10% Muslim and 30% other).

Zionists are classed as Christian. They are a new one on me and clearly not Jewish. Anyone know more about them?


(ETA Country name in title, Doublethink Temporary Purgatory Host )

Comments

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    @venbede, I have posted about this before, can't post for long now because we are about to have a major power cut in South Africa.

    Here's a link to the history of the African independent church movements, including the Zionist and Ethiopian church groups.

    Swaziland is now known as Eswatini.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    The word "Zion" and related terms is sometimes used by groups unconnected to the political movement for a Jewish homeland. See eg. the old spiritual By The Waters Of Babylon.
  • stetson wrote: »
    The word "Zion" and related terms is sometimes used by groups unconnected to the political movement for a Jewish homeland. See eg. the old spiritual By The Waters Of Babylon.

    That's straight from the Biblical text though. It's fairly unusual to see the term "Zionist" in any other than a Jewish-Nationalist context.
  • GarethMoonGarethMoon Deckhand, StyxNoComment
    stetson wrote: »
    The word "Zion" and related terms is sometimes used by groups unconnected to the political movement for a Jewish homeland. See eg. the old spiritual By The Waters Of Babylon.

    That's straight from the Biblical text though. It's fairly unusual to see the term "Zionist" in any other than a Jewish-Nationalist context.

    Not in Southern Africa it isn't.

    IIRC the founder came from a city called "Zion" in the States.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    The word "Zion" and related terms is sometimes used by groups unconnected to the political movement for a Jewish homeland. See eg. the old spiritual By The Waters Of Babylon.

    That's straight from the Biblical text though. It's fairly unusual to see the term "Zionist" in any other than a Jewish-Nationalist context.

    Granted, yes, in North America anyway, the adjective made with "-ist" seems pretty uncommon except as a reference to the Jewish homeland movement.

    Even a google on "Mormons Zionism" seems to turn up only references to the Jewish-based ideology, despite "Zion" by itself being in relatively wide use among Mormons. (At least, at one time.)
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    In this context Zionist has nothing at all to do with the State of Israel.
    Zionist churches are a group of Christian denominations that derive from the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, which was founded by John Alexander Dowie in Zion, Illinois, at the end of the 19th century. Missionaries from the church came to South Africa in 1904 and among their first recruits were Pieter Louis le Roux and Daniel Nkonyane of Wakkerstroom who continued to evangelize after the Zionist missionaries left in 1908.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    For more info on the fascinating topic of African Initiated Churches .....
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-initiated_church#Zionist_churches
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited October 16
    As others have noted this history of Zionist African independent churches has no connection at all with the State of Israel as a Zionist homeland. It's also worth noting that the Ethiopian independent church movement in southern Africa has nothing to do with the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church in Ethiopia. The inspiration for the Ethiopian church movement in southern Africa was the biblical quotation from Psalm 68, "the Ethiop (or Cush) shall stretch out her hands to God".

    Going back to @venbede's original post, another point to note is that the Zionist church is not bounded by or confined to Eswatini (the former Swaziland), this is another African -initiated or independent church movement historically extending over a number of southern African countries. The spiritual centre of the huge Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) is at Zion City in ZCC members travel from as far afield as Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini to Moria.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    The spiritual centre of the huge Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) is at Zion City in ZCC members travel from as far afield as Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini to Moria.

    Sorry, could you clarify...?

    Did you mean to write "...at Zion City in Illinois"?

    And what do you mean by "Moria"? According to the internet, Moria is a place in Middle Earth. Were you using it as a metaphor for Zion City in the USA?

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited October 16
    @stetson, you must have a geographically limited Google! You know we're talking about southern Africa, right?

    Here is an article you should be able to open.

    Sorry, I couldn't correct my post, it should have read Moria in Limpopo province, South Africa.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    @stetson, you must have a geographically limited Google!

    Well...yeah. The African place turns up on neither the first-page of a google nor a duckduckgo search. Though it does turn up on the wikipedia disambiguation page, which I think I did check, but not thoroughly enough.

    Anyway, thanks!

  • And the founder who gave the name Zionists to his followers was born in Edinburgh,Scotland to a tailor preacher who then emigrated to Australia.
    The tailor preacher's son went into preaching in various denominations including teo of his very own founding and built a city north of Chicago which he named Zion.
    Irrespective of the various names for his denomination such as Divine Healing Mission,Christian Catholic Church and Christian Catholic Apostolic Church his followers still use the name Zionist.
  • venbedevenbede Shipmate
    Thank you @MaryLouise for your helpful explanation. I apologise for getting the name of the country wrong - my Whittaker's Almanac was 2013.
Sign In or Register to comment.