Faith in Zionist religion for varsity students
Though faith is intangible and cannot be proven scientifically, it is one of the ways that a group of students in Pretoria have chosen to identify themselves.
The Student Apostolic Church in Zion (SACZ) was launched on Saturday at the University of Limpopo's Medunsa campus in GaRankuwa.
With members from the medical school and the neighbouring campus of the Tshwane University of Technology, SACZ was formed to retain a "strong Zionist influence" in the lives of students, said chairman Lucky Malinga.
"The role of religion in our lives is often overlooked because it cannot be easily proven scientifically.
"Students are therefore likely to undermine their faith in favour of science," said the fourth-year dentistry student.
Malinga said though there were other Christian groups at the institution, Zionists often felt marginalised.
"Though we pray to the same God, we conduct our services differently.
"Members of the church, for instance, can be identified by their distinctive green or blue and white uniforms and do not make use of musical instruments when worshipping.
"We also make use of symbols such as a cross to signify our saviour Jesus Christ's crucifixion and we take off our shoes when we enter a place we regard as holy," said Malinga.
Guest speaker Archbishop Mavis Mthethwa of the Bright Catholic Church said: "We have to stress to students that there is no life without God and for them to get educated so that they can achieve their goals in life."
Mthethwa said it was also important to preach abstinence to students in the face of HIV-Aids.
"I will not condone the use of condoms but would encourage abstinence because sex before marriage is a sin."