Church sends Easter message of brotherhood, love

Sowetan reporter

Sowetan reporter

South Africa and the entire world can be a better place to live in if we all love and cherish one another.

This was the Easter message given by St. Engenas Zion Christian Church Bishop Joseph Lekganyane on Easter Sunday.

Lekganyane was speaking to hundreds of thousands of members at the church's headquarters in Boyne, outside Polokwane, in Limpopo.

Lekganyane said: "People should learn to forgive and forget and not hold grudges against one another."

The church's message has always dealt with spiritual matters and its leaders have avoided becoming involved in political and social issues.

St. Engenas is situated opposite the Moria-based Zion Christian Church (ZCC).

Until 1948, both the ZCC and Saint Engenas ZCC were one church under the leadership of founder Engenas Lekganyane.

The ZCC was initially based in Engenas Lekganyane's home village of Thabakgone, near Polokwane, and was registered as a church in 1942.

In 1930 ZCC followers purchased land near Polokwane which was christened Zion City Moria and became the headquarters of the church.

Every year more than 5million worshippers travel to Moria at Easter, in early September and over Christmas for religious celebrations.

These celebrations involve abstaining from sleep for several days, drinking blessed tea, singing and dancing with the intention of stamping the devil back into the ground.

But, following Lekganyane's death in 1948, the church split into two congregations.

A minority of congregants adopted the name Saint Engenas Zion Christian Church and continued at the original location under the leadership of Lekganyane's second son, Joseph.

This church adopted a dove as its symbol.

The Zion Christian Church congregation under Barnabas Lekganyane built a new Zion City Moria about a kilometre east of the original site and continued under the leadership of Lekganyane's eldest son, Barnabas.

This church adopted a star as its symbol.

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