Δευτέρα 31 Αυγούστου 2015

The White Shantytowns Of South Africa - Apartheid Shanty Towns in Cape Town

The White Shantytowns Of South Africa

By Morris M. on Thursday, February 27, 2014
“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart!” —Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

In A Nutshell

South Africa has long been plagued by poverty. Across the nation, millions of citizens are forced to live in shantytowns and decrepit slums, a hangover from the enforced inequalities of the apartheid era. But while the majority of South Africa’s poor are black people, a completely new class has emerged since the seismic social shifts of 1994—formerly well-off white people who now eke out an existence in grinding poverty.

The Whole Bushel

When Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994, there was widespread hope that his government would wash away the extreme poverty and despair faced by millions of his countrymen. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of black South Africans continue to live below the breadline—only now they’re being joined by their white neighbors, too. It’s estimated that around 100,000 Afrikaners (descended from Dutch settlers) are currently camped out in shantytowns, trapped in dire poverty.
One of the most infamous of these is Coronation Park. In 1994, it was a getaway spot for wealthy whites wishing to escape the city. Today it’s a decaying slum: a wasteland of unemployment, malnutrition, and hopelessness. Families live in tents or broken shacks and rely on food hand-outs to survive. Drugs are a problem and the massive inequalities have given rise to an undercurrent of extreme racism in some parts of the park.
Although not as numerous as the country’s infamous townships, dozens of white camps like Coronation Park now exist across the country, each with their own unsolvable problems. Prior to the end of apartheid, South Africa had a system of guaranteed jobs, housing, and subsides for poor white citizens. With the end of minority rule, maintaining these subsidies became both immoral and logistically impossible. The result was a growing number of whites with no jobs, no backup, and no safety net. In 2008, then-presidential candidate Jacob Zuma visited another settlement at Bethlehem and expressed astonishment at the sheer number of whites living below the breadline.
Now, obviously these settlements need to be seen in a historical context. The number of black South Africans living in similarly impoverished conditions is huge, with the added downside that they were just as poor prior to 1994. That whites are now also penniless is an unfortunate side effect of bringing equality to millions.

Show Me The Proof

BBC News: South Africa’s hidden white poverty

Reuters: White poverty in South Africa (photo slideshow)

Radio Times: Reggie Yates on Extreme South Africa

Apartheid Shanty Towns in Cape Town

Shanty Towns
During the fifties, the government replaced 2,000 African employees in the Western Cape with coloured and white workers, and pass laws were enforced by police trying to catch 'illegal' immigrant workers. However, the fast growing shanty towns on the edge of Cape Town were evidence that influx control was not really working.
In the early fifties, the necessity to supply alternative accommodation stopped the local authorities from destroying shacks. Central government's reaction was to impose 'The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act' in 1952 which forced local authorities to set up 'emergency camps' where shanty dwellers could be 'concentrated and controlled', and permitted authorities to destroy 'illegal' shacks.
In the late 1950s the destruction of shack settlements increased in areas as diverse as Hout Bay and Elsies River. Over 5000 so-called 'bachelors' were forced to move into hostels, and thousands of 'illegals' - most of whom were women - were 'endorsed out' of the city.

In 1959, despite vocal protest from many employers, the Native Affairs Department decreed that no more Africans could be employed for work in Cape Town. At the same time, the conditions in the Eastern Cape reserves were deteriorating and therefore migrant labour became a more significant lifeline for many families.
The clearance of squatter camps continued throughout the sixties and seventies. The Modderdam squatter camp was destroyed by two bulldozers during one week in August 1977, and as residents watched their homes being razed they chanted freedom songs and hymns, charged policemen and threw furniture onto the road. Some even set fire to their own shacks before the authorities could reach them.
In the 1970s a shanty town developed at 'Crossroads', near the airport. It began when workers were told to leave a white farm and move to 'the crossroads'. Finding only bush, they built shacks and established a community that afforded families more scope for creating individual, respectable homes than the hostels of Guguletu.
As Crossroads was considered a temporary camp by the authorities, eviction orders were made in 1975. However, these were not enforced because a Men's Committee and a Women's Committee had formed in order to fight this decision, the latter of the two being particularly successful at gaining support from within and outside the community.
In 1977 a survey showed a total of 18,000 living at Crossroads.
The Black Sash began to support the 'Save Crossroads' campaign, and in 1978 it was declared an 'emergency camp' thereby obliging the Council to supply water taps and remove refuse for a small fee.
The battle to save Crossroads from destruction became a major battle of will between the government and the opposition movements during the late 1970s and 1980s.
However, tensions rose within the shanty town and violence erupted around the schism between supporters of Johnson Ngxobongwana as head of the residents committee, and those who contested his behaviour of favouritism and reward to his henchmen.
In 1983 there were bloody fights in Crossroads that spread into the nearby areas of KTC and Nyanga. A group of older Crossroads residents resented the rising influence of UDF supporters or 'comrades'. A group of these men, the 'witdoeke', wore white armbands and formed an alliance with the police to fight against these young 'comrades'.
The 'witdoeke' were sanctioned to use weapons, and in the attacks on neighbouring townships and the setting fire to all the shanty settlements in old Crossroads, they caused an enormous amount of violence and rendered 60,000 people homeless. Some residents moved 'voluntarily' to a tented town near Site C in Khayelitsha to avoid the violence
Meaning 'new home', Khayelitsha was intended by the government to provide housing to all 'legal' residents of the Cape Peninsula, whether they were in squatter camps or in existing townships, in one purpose built and easily controlled township.
The plan was to create 4 towns, each with 30,000 residents in brick houses, a proportion of which were to be privately owned. Settlement began with a tented town - rows and rows of tents, to which Crossroads residents fled.

By 1986 over 8,000 people lived in 4,150 'site and service' plots at Site C (site and service means demarcated plots, each with a tap and toilet), and a further 13,000 rented core houses in Town 1 (a core house is a small cement-brick structure that can be extended into a larger house).

Yet, by 1990 the population of Khayelitsha was 450,000 and unemployment stood at 80%. Only 14% lived in core housing, with 54% in serviced shacks and 32% in unserviced areas. A handful of residents had electricity and most families had to fetch water from public taps.

In conditions of overcrowding and lawlessness, unofficial councils elected by community members maintained social control in the neighbourhood, and enforced physical punishment upon adults and children who broke the local codes of behaviour.

Khayelitsha grew rapidly during the 1990s as migrants from the Eastern Cape, previously deterred by influx control, arrived to look for work. By 1995 there were over half a million people living in Khayelitsha. Many brought their cattle and were able to earn an income by selling milk to township residents.

The sight of cows crossing bridges over the N2 freeway reminds Capetonians of the strong rural connection of many of the city's residents.

Fire was a constant hazard until electricity was made accessible as residents used paraffin and candles for cooking and light. Winds blowing across the flats spread fires quickly, destroying many crowded homes.

Rates of domestic violence, rape, child abuse and murder increased dramatically during the 1990s on the Cape Flats. Police presence was minimal and in this climate, vigilante activities grew.

Taxi wars were another feature of the early-mid 1990s as associations of drivers fought to control the lucrative routes between the Cape Flats and the centre and suburbs. Passengers were not only at risk of being caught up in violent clashes and the work of 'hit squads', but were also frequently endangered by dangerous driving as drivers tried to make more money by rushing along their routes.

Slowly, however, developments began to transform the shanty towns into suburbs, although progress was slow (see the New South Africa). The open areas toward the False Bay coast were developed as 'site and service' plots in the mid-90s, such as Harare and Makhasa. Later a vast area beyond Harare was developed consisting of of tiny homes in long rows. The railway line was only extended to these areas in 2008. By this time the population of Khayelitsha was said to be over one million, although accurate data was lacking. There was still no hospital in teh entire area and other services, including policing, were - at best - controversial.

Steven Otter wrote a very readable book about his stay in Khayelitsha in the early 2000s called 'Umlungu in Khayelitsha'. 

See also
Shanty Town - Emoya Hotel & Spa (!!!) 

From here
Shanty Town for a unique accommodation experience in Bloemfontein

Millions of people are living in informal settlements across South Africa. These settlements consist of thousands of houses also referred to as Shacks, Shantys or Makhukhus. A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small "house" or shelter where they make a normal living. A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.
Now you can experience staying in a Shanty within  the safe environment of a private game reserve. This is the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with wireless internet access!  
The Shanty Town is ideal for team building, braais, fancy theme parties and an experience of a lifetime.  Accommodates up to 52 guests. Our Shantys are completely safe and child friendly.

This is an experience you will never forget!
Shanty Town offers the following:

Electrical geysers     Electricity
Braai facilities on request     Bathroom with shower
Long-drop effect toilets      


Pricing (Incl. VAT)     Price
1 Person     R550
2 People     R650
3 or 4 People     R950
Breakfast optional @ R110.00      

Click the play button below for a quick glimpse into what the Shanty Town has to offer.  Click the Full Screen  button (below right) for a more detailed view.

Please note that Emoya Spa and Oopvuur Restaurant are operated separately and is billed separately from Emoya Basotho Village and Shanty Town

See also

Shanty town in the World
The shantytowns of Kibera & Mathare in Kenya

The Mystery of the Forerunner

Glory 2 God for all things
st_john_the_baptist_iconThere is a unanimous witness in the Christian gospels concerning the place of St. John the Baptist. In the Orthodox world he is generally referred to as the Forerunner. All of the gospels agree that he plays a key role in the coming of the Messiah. It is a role that is largely ignored by most of the Christian world.
The gospels make reference to two Scriptures when they mention St. John. The first is from Malachi 3:
Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
The second is from Isaiah 40:
 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Both Scriptures make reference to the fact of the Forerunner. Before the coming of the Christ, God will send a messenger to prepare the way. John is the messenger. It is here that most Christians leave St. John. He is a voice and a messenger – as such he simply becomes part of the furniture in the drama of Christ’s coming.
But why is there a messenger? How does John prepare the way? What is the mystery of the Forerunner?
For me, the question is important. Nothing in the story of our salvation is merely incidental. John does not appear because of the prophecy – the prophecy is spoken because John is coming. The Christian gospel, when rightly understood, has a “seamless” quality. It fits together. What is the seamless role of the Forerunner?
The first aspect of his role in Christ’s coming is its simple historical fact. Though the gospel gives John a minor role within the drama, historically his place was very important. John was clearly more important than Christ at the beginning of Christ’s ministry. John had the general approval of the nation of Israel. Even King Herod who arrested John and ordered his death is said to have “feared” him:
knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly (Mark 6:20).
It is to Herod’s shame that he lacked the character to protect John from the wicked demands of Herodias and Salome. Herod’s greatest fear of Christ was that Jesus was somehow John the Baptist come back from the dead (Matt. 14:2).
In Luke’s gospel, Christ is linked with John even before their birth. They are cousins. John, filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb, leaps with joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. His role as Forerunner has already begun.
It is John himself who offers an insight into the mystery of his role. In the fourth gospel, St. John describes himself as the Friend of the Bridegroom.
‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled (Jn. 3:28-29).
In the other three gospels, Christ speaks of his disciples as “friends of the bridegroom,” and makes a contrast between their joyful lack of fasting and the strict fasting of the Baptist’s followers. But the gospel of John raises the image of the Friend of the Bridegroom to a mystical level.
The Forerunner’s theological action in the gospels is to preside at the mystical Pascha, the union of heaven and earth: Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan. The full force of this event is lost on many Christians. At best, it is seen as an action in which Christ is revealed as Messiah. It’s place in Orthodox liturgical life is in the company of Christmas and Pascha. The three feasts have a common shape and common iconography. Christmas and Theophany (Christ’s Baptism) are revealed as “little Paschas.”
The Baptism of Christ is the death and resurrection of Christ, in a mystical form. It is the meaning given to Christian Baptism. In Orthodox liturgical language, Christ’s enters the waters of the Jordan and “crushes the heads of the dragons who lurked there.” The image of the dragons, drawn from Psalm 74 (73), reveal the waters of Jordan to be a foreshadowing of Hades. Christ’s death is an entrance into Hades and the crushing of the devil and his minions. It is the union of Christ with those who had been held in bondage, and, through that union, their resurrection from the dead. This is the mystical marriage, the union of God with His creation.
The identification of the Forerunner as the Friend of the Bridegroom also points to the Baptism as a mystical marriage. It is the role of the Bridegroom’s friend to witness the marriage. It is also necessary for someone to perform the Baptism itself. John hesitates before such a role and protests that he is unworthy. But Christ, the true Bridegroom, counters, “It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).
The imagery of Christ as Bridegroom has many echoes within the Old Testament. God as the husband of Israel is the primary image within Hosea; the Song of Songs is incomprehensible without it; Psalm 45 (44) is a rich commentary on the topic. In Orthodoxy, the Bridegroom is a beloved title for Christ. It is a primary theme in the Holy Week as the Church moves towards the spiritual climax of Pascha. Everything begins to be described in wedding imagery.
Come from the vision, O ye women, bearers of glad tidings, and say to Sion: receive from us the glad tidings of the Resurrection of Christ; adorn thyself, exult, and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for thou hast seen Christ the King come forth from the tomb like a bridegroom in procession.
The Church sees beyond the Jordan to an even greater role for the Forerunner. John, beheaded by Herod, enters into Hades and continues there his mission of preparation for Christ. There, in Hades, the man whom Christ describes as “the greatest born among women,” carries on his work of self-emptying. John says of Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Just as Christ’s self-emptying carries him into the emptiness of death that he might fill it with Himself, so John enters first into the same emptiness, that he might proclaim the coming Fullness.
He is the Friend of the Bridegroom. How could he not have been present to witness such a victory by his Friend?

August 29 is the feast of the Beheading of St. John. Glory to God!

(*) Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, serving as Rector of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.

African Initiated Church

Photo from the Aladura Pentecostal Church of the Lord (from here)


An African initiated church is a Christian church independently started in Africa by Africans and not by missionaries from another continent. The oldest of these is the Tewahedo (Ethiopian Orthodox Church) which dates from the 4th century, and was one of the first Christian churches in the world.[1][2]


A variety of overlapping terms exist for these forms of Christianity: African initiated churches, African independent churches, African indigenous churches and African instituted churches. The abbreviation AIC covers them all. The differences in names correspond to the aspect that a researcher wishes to emphasize. Those who wish to point out that AICs exhibit African cultural forms, describe them as "indigenous," and so on. These terms have largely been imposed upon such groups, and may not be the way they would describe themselves.

Some scholars argue that independent churches or religious movements demonstrate syncretism or partial integration between aspects of Christian belief and African traditional religion, but the degree to which this happens varies, and has often been exaggerated. Often these churches have resulted from a process of acculturation between traditional African beliefs and Protestant Christianity, and have split from their parent churches.

The charge of syncretism suggests an 'impure' and superficial form of Christianity used to maintain older cultural practices and beliefs. More recently, academic opinion has shifted towards recognizing that all forms of Christianity entail some adaptation to ethnic or regional cultural systems. Bengt Sundkler, one of the most prominent pioneers of research on African independent churches in South Africa, initially argued that AICs were bridges back to a pre-industrial culture.[3] Later, he recognized instead that AICs helped their affiliates to adapt to a modernizing world that was hostile to their cultural beliefs.

While the term "African" is appropriate, given that these Christian groupings formed in Africa, AICs differ from one another. Not all African cultural systems are the same: regional variations occur among West, East, and Southern Africans, and the AICs will reflect these. Africans tend to have in common a belief that ancestral spirits interact with the living (a belief also shared by many Asian peoples). As the discussion of classification below shows, the various AICs also differ widely in their organisational forms. Some resemble western Christian denominations (Ethiopian-types), while others may not (Zionist-types). Some have large numbers of affiliates located all over a country (the Zion Christian Church of South Africa), while others may consist only of an extended family and their acquaintances meeting in a house or out of doors.

Recently, the idea that AICs are indigenous to Africa has had to be surrendered, as AICs can now be found in Europe (e.g. Germany, Britain) and the United States. In such cases, the term "African" suggests the continent of origin, rather than of location. 


African Initiated Churches are found across Africa; they are particularly well-documented in southern Africa and West Africa. Pauw suggests that at least 36% of the population of Africa belong to an African Initiated Church.


During the colonial period, many black converts to Christianity were unable fully to reconcile their beliefs with the teachings of their church leaders, and split from their parent churches. The reasons for these splits were usually either:
Political – an effort to escape white control;
Historical – many of the parent churches, particularly those from a Protestant tradition, had themselves emerged from a process of schism and synthesis; and
Cultural – the result of trying to accommodate Christian belief within an African world view

Classification and taxonomy

There are thousands of African Initiated Churches (more than 10,000 in South Africa alone) and each one has its own characteristics. Ecclesiologists, missiologists, sociologists and others have tried to group them according to common characteristics, though disagreements have arisen about which characteristics are most significant, and which taxonomy is most accurate. Though it is possible to distinguish groups of denominations with common features, there is also much overlap, with some denominations sharing the characteristics of two or more groups.

Many AICs share traditions with Christians from other parts of the Christian world, and these can also be used in classifying them. So there are AICs which share some beliefs or practices with Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and Orthodox traditions. Some are Sabbatarian, some are Zionist, and so on. 

Ethiopian churches

Ethiopian churches generally retain the Christian doctrines of their mother church in an unreformed state. Ethiopian African Initiated Churches, which are recently formed Protestant congregations, mostly in southern Africa, arose from the Ethiopian movement of the late nineteenth century, which taught that African Christian churches should be under the control of black people. They should not be confused with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church or Coptic Orthodox Church, which have a much longer and an utterly distinct doctrinal history. Some denominations that arose from the Ethiopian movement have united with these earlier denominations.

Note of our blog
See also: "Oriental Orthodox" & Moses the Ethiopian, the Black Saint & Teacher (& other Ethiopian saints in the Orthodox Church).

John Alexander Dowie as Elijah the Restorer.jpg
Zionist churches

Zionist churches, such as the Zion Christian Church, trace their origins to the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, founded by John Alexander Dowie (photo), with its headquarters at Zion City, near Chicago in the USA. They are found chiefly in Southern Africa. In the early 1900s, Zionist missionaries went to South Africa from the USA, and established congregations. They emphasised divine healing, abstention from pork, and the wearing of white robes.

The Zionist missionaries were followed by Pentecostal ones, whose teaching was concentrated on spiritual gifts and baptism in the Holy Spirit, with speaking in tongues as the initial evidence of this. The predominantly white Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa arose out of this missionary effort and emphasises the Pentecostal teaching.

The black Zionists retained much of the original Zionist tradition. The Zionists split into several different denominations, although the reason for this was more the rapid growth of the movement than divisions. A split in the Zionist movement in the USA meant that after 1908 few missionaries came to southern Africa. The movement in southern Africa and its growth has been the result of black leadership and initiative. As time passed some Zionist groups began to mix aspects of traditional African beliefs, such as ancestor veneration, with Christian doctrine. Many Zionists stress faith-healing and revelation, and in many congregations the leader is viewed as a prophet.

Messianic churches

Some AICs with strong leadership have been described by some researchers as Messianic, but opinions also changed. The churches that have been called Messianic focus on the power and sanctity of their leaders; often the leaders are thought by their followers to possess Christ-like characteristics. Denominations described as Messianic include the Kimbanguist Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Nazareth Baptist Church of Isaiah Shembe in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; and the Zion Christian Church of Engenas Lekganyane with headquarters in South Africa's Limpopo province.
Apostolic churches

Some denominations call themselves "apostolic churches"; they are similar to Zionist congregations but often place more emphasis on formal theological training. 

Aladura Pentecostal churches

The Aladura Pentecostal churches originated in Nigeria. They rely on the power of prayer and in all effects of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Today such churches include Christ Apostolic Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, Celestial Church of Christ and Church of the Lord (Aladura) [photo from here]. The first Aladura Movement was started at Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918 by Sophia Odunlami, a school teacher, and Joseph Sadare, a goldsmith. They both attended St. Saviour's Anglican Church. They rejected infant baptism and all forms of medicine, whether western or traditional. In consequence, they initiated the "Prayer Band", popularly called Egbe Aladura. Joseph Sadare was compelled to give up his post in the Synod and others were forced to resign their jobs and to withdraw their children from the Anglican School. The Aladura began as a renewal movement in search of true spirituality.

A revival took place during the 1918 influenza epidemic. The group used prayer to save many lives affected by the influenza epidemic.[citation needed] This consolidated the formation of the prayer group and the group was named "Precious Stone" and later the "Diamond Society". By 1920, the Diamond Society had grown tremendously and had started to form branches around the Western region of Nigeria. In particular, David Odubanjo went to start the Lagos branch. The group emphasized divine healing, Holiness, and All Sufficiency of God, which form the three cardinal beliefs of the Church today. For this reason, the group had association with Faith Tabernacle of Philadelphia and changed its name to "Faith Tabernacle of Nigeria".

The GREAT REVIVAL in Nigeria started in 1930 where the Leaders of the Cherubim & Seraphim, The Church of the Lord (Aladura) and the Faith Tabernacle played important roles. Some people[who?] think that these leaders - Joseph Sadare of "Egbe Aladura", David Odubanjo of "Diamond Society", Moses Orimolade of "Cherubim & Seraphim", and Josiah Ositelu of "The Church of the Lord (Aladura)" performed several miracles. The revival started in Ibadan in the South-West of Nigeria and later spread to other parts of the country.

The Revival group went through several name changes until, after 24 years of its formation, it finally adopted the name Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in 1942. Today, CAC has spread worldwide and is the precursor of Aladura Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The Church has established several schools at all levels, including Joseph Ayo Babalola University

See also

Church of God mission
The Redeemed Christian Church of God
Apostles of Johane Maranke
Celestial Church of Christ
Deeper Life Bible Church
Church of the Lord (Aladura)
Christ Apostolic Church
Legio Maria of African Church Mission
Kimbanguist Church
Zion Christian Church
Living Faith Bible Church, aka Winners Chapel
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries
Open door Life Assembly
List of Christian denominations 

Further reading

Anderson, Allan. 2000. Zion and Pentecost: the spirituality and experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa. Pretoria: University of South Africa Press.
Barrett, David B. 1968. Schism and renewal in Africa: an analysis of six thousand contemporary religious movements. Nairobi: Oxford University Press.
Daneel, M.L. 1987. Quest for belonging: introduction to a study of African Independent Churches. Gweru: Mambo.
Hayes, Stephen. 2003. "Issues of 'Catholic' ecclesiology in Ethiopian-type AICs", in Frontiers of African Christianity edited by Greg Cuthbertson, Hennie Pretorius and Dana Robert. Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, pp 137–152.
Olowe, Abiodun. 2007 "Great Revivals, Great Revivalist – Joseph Ayo Babalola", Omega Publishers
Oosthuzen, G., 1996. "African Independent/Indigenous Churches in the Social Environment: An Empirical Analysis", African Analysis, 26 (4).
Pauw, C., 1995. "African Independent Churches as a 'People's Response' to the Christian Message", Journal for the Study of Religion, 8 (1).
Sundkler, Bengt G.M. 1961. Bantu prophets in South Africa. London: International African Institute.
Venter, Dawid (Editor). 2004. Engaging Modernity: Methods and Cases for Studying African Independent Churches in South Africa. Westport: Praeger.
Welbourn, Frederick Burkewood. 1961. East African rebels: a study of some independent churches. London: SCM.
"Ositelu, Rufus Okikiola Olubiyi. 2002. "African Instituted Churches". Hamburg, Germany: LIT-Verlag. ISBN 3-8258-6087-6. "Ositelu, Rufus Okikiola Olubiyi. 2009. "Journey So Far". Ogere, Nigeria: TCLAW-Publishers. ISBN 978-978-900-478-2.


A History of Ethiopia, Harold G Marcus, University of California, 1994

http://www.kebranegast.com Kebra Negast | History and Culture of Ethiopia

John S, Pobee and Gabriel Ositelu II, African Initiatives in Christianity, WCC Publications, Geneva, 1998

External links

African Christians, focus on African Initiated Orthodoxies
Brotherhood of the Cross and Star

Please, see also

African Initiated Churches in Search of Orthodoxy... 
The Way - An introduction to the Orthodox Faith 
Theosis (deification): The True Purpose of Human Life

A Letter from an Orthodox Christian to our Native Americans Brothers

Protestants ask: Why be Orthodox?

About Pentecostal please see

For Charismatics - "Glossolalia"
Charismatic Revival As a Sign of the Times
In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord : An Orthodox Interpertation of the Gifts of the Spirit / An Orthodox answer to the pentecostalism and charismatic movement!

Κυριακή 30 Αυγούστου 2015

Proto-Christian march on the land of the Pygmies

"...This year I experienced the most intense feelings in my life and the secret way of God’s answering in the innermost recesses of the soul. The first meeting with the Orthodox Pygmies in North Congo is what dominates my thinking. A very old tribe that lives in the rainforests on anything nature can offer, inherently noble and good-hearted. When I first met them, they did not talk to me either about problems or future plans. They experience in practice the constant present of the ecclesiastical time, without planning for tomorrow. They did not fail to mention the benevolence and undivided love of the Orthodox Greeks who they came to know through Orthodoxy, the way this was expressed through the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, which offered the amount of 7,380 euros for the purchase of valuable primary necessities for their difficult living conditions in the woods. Axes, knives, files in order to grind their tools, and also cooking utensils were those items that they chose in advance as absolutely necessary. This amount also helped cover the annual rental for the small house that is used as a temporary “Church” for their operational needs as well as the monthly stipend of the trained Parish priest, Fr Sergio Mabelemo".

Panteleimon of Brazzaville and Gabon (from here)

When I was a kid and read about the desperate and strenuous efforts of the missionaries, who with the help and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ spread the Gospel in the vast African continent, not even once did it cross my mind that one day I would have the blessing to partake of this experience myself, let alone that I would be in charge of the Bishopric ministry.


Impfondo: a city of 20,000 inhabitants at Likouala region, in the northern part of the Congo Republic. There, under the sleepless care of Fr Theologos Chrysanthacopoulos, Fr Sergio Mabelemo, (parish) priest of Saint Mark’s Parish, and the indigenous catechists Marios and Joachim, managed to constitute the first orthodox nucleus in this remote corner of the country. The flock, apart from the   city dwellers, consists of fifty Pygmies, who refuse to adopt the modern lifestyle and live in the heart of the rainforest.
After plenty of efforts due to the difficult access to this area, my first pastoral visit to the region was finally set for Friday 7th June [2013]. The faithful gave us a cordial welcome. We were deeply touched to see them in two-wheelers (the most common means of transport in the north), forming a bustling procession as long as the entrance of Saint Mark’s Holy Church, which is actually a house whose larger room is used as a shrine. Early in the evening in the same Church we conducted a supplication to the Most Holy Theotokos and preached the Word of God.


Saturday 8th June: ten new souls will shine from the enlightenment of the Grace of the Holy Spirit and will enter Orthodoxy. They have been patiently waiting for this great moment at the banks of the Oubangui River since the dawn. A pirogue was used as a platform, from where, deeply touched, I baptized the new members of Orthodoxy in the calm waters of the river, glorifying the Benevolent God for this proto-Christian experience that I was granted to live.
Noon of the same day in the city market. Thanks to the most eager and brotherly support of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, the Holy Diocese bought relief items for the Pygmies in order to help them materially as well in their difficult struggle for survival in the forests. Machetes, axes, tools, knives and files were the things they chose as necessary for their survival in nature and their hunting lifestyle.
Sunday 9th June: the church and the yard have been overcrowded since the dawn by the faithful who are waiting patiently in order to participate for the first time in an Archieratical Divine Liturgy and take the Bishop’s blessings, discreetly touching the prelatic vestments.
An old table stood for the Altar, a smaller one for the Oblation. The psalms and the pulse of the youth inundate this blessed place and take you to the apostolic times. On this occasion, I preach the life and spiritual heritage of Apostle Mark, the Enlightener of the Alexandrian Church, and eventually, through the constant apostolic succession of the martyred Patriarchs of Alexandria, I end up with the contemporary fruitful ministry of our “Mother-Church”.
On Sunday afternoon visit to the reservation of the Orthodox Pygmies. Traversing the lush vegetation of the tropical forest, we reach the first houses. It feels like having set the time back. Around the mud-brick houses, one could see children climbing up the trees, or looking after the land, copying their parents’ moves. In the cooking pots, on a bundle of burning sticks, the goods offered by the forest through the omniscience of its Creator are being roasted.


The politeness of the ninety-year-old chief of the village is characteristic. The traditionally proud Pygmies, who of course are not aware of the fact that Homer and Herodotus spoke about them in their famous works, talked to me  mainly about their life and very little about their problems, since they know how to accept and enjoy their life as the most valuable gift of God. They were grateful for the benevolence and the undivided love of the orthodox brothers.
As it is getting dark, we are in the hospitable residence of the Governor of the region, who requested officially the erection of a beauteous Orthodox Church in the center of the city of Impfondo in a plot that the Bishopric already owns legally. And if our Church manages to offer them a school as well, then “the joy will be complete”!
Monday 10th June: farewell time has come. As we are returning to the capital city of the country, Brazzaville, I am   making a review of the journey. I express my gratitude to God, considering the burden of the pastoral and missionary responsibility, I envisage the Orthodox Church, only built of the traditional red brick, evident internally as well as externally, with a beautiful tiled roof and a low proto-Christian wooden iconostasis, carved by the skilful hands of the natives. The mind is full of beautiful images and the soul of spiritual exultation and strength for the continuation of the pastoral activities of the Bishopric, which geographically covers a total area 2.5 times larger than Greece, and which God has entrusted in my littleness.

+ Panteleimon of Brazzaville & Gabon

Pygmies: Where there is no lie


The addiction to the violation of nature, which is a creation of God, captures the mind into pain. It makes big efforts to escape, seeking the supremacy of serenity. It expects to see images of purity of daily existence.
A journey to Africa, bathed in a reverie of love, takes as far as the mouth of the legendary river Congo and its tributaries. It is there, in the tropical rainforests, where the diminutive Pygmies live. You see them crowned with “leaves of truth” on the forehead, because they ignore the meaning of “lying”. This word has never existed in the vocabulary of their race.
The meeting of the Pygmies with history takes place mainly in the central basin of Africa. They were already known to Homer and Herodotus due to their short stature. The average height of men is no more than 1.45 m. Their name is owned to the Greeks since the word “pygmy” refers to their height and compares them to the fist (’pygmi’ in greek).
The Pygmies were the first people to settle in the area of Congo, followed by the big negroid family called Bantu. Later they were repulsed by the latter, and today they are dispersed in small groups known by different names: Babongo, Bagyeli, Batwa, Bambuti, Babenga, Aka….
Nowadays, a part of them has become hooked on the bait of technical social development, working in the cities. However, their picturesque villages still impart a tasteful touch to the image of the jungle. Every circular hut, like most of them, is thatched and is supported by little tree trunks. The circumference remains open so that the air can go through and cool them from the suffocating heat and humidity.
When the dawn bids farewell in the night, it finds them ready to participate in their daily working routine. Some go hunting, others go fishing in the rivers in their pirogues and others climb up the huge trees in order to collect fruit, even honey from natural hives.
Only women cultivate “manioka”. From the dried roots of this bush they produce flour with which they make a kind of gruel. It is usually eaten with meat or fish and a variety of fruit.
From infancy the children of the Pygmies are trained in archery while women around the huts knit their hunting nets with thin branches of vine. They are 40-80 m long and 80 cm high. A 12-year-old boy is ready to grow into a man by hunting with a bow and carrying a net on his shoulders. He encircles the animal by spreading the net, and then it is easy to aim at it with his arrow.
Many times the long marches in the forest make them spend the night in trees and continue the next morning until they achieve their goal. However, when they return to the village carrying an antelope, they all start a joyful dance that shows acknowledgement of the hunters’ dexterity. The most formal dance is that of the Elephant, which is indicative of the hunter’s big strength.
Times goes by, leaving the Pygmies in the freedom of the jungle.
The Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, showing great sensibility towards the tribe of the Pygmies, has affectionately embraced one of their villages on the banks of the Ubangi river, near the little town of Impfondo in the northeastern part of Congo-Brazzaville. The missionary Fr Theologos humbly crossed the threshold of their heart! His simplicity and kindness were united with their own merits and made spiritual fruit flourish in their souls, by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

See also

The Orthodox Church in Congo & Gabon & the Orthodox University "St. Athanasius Athonite"

Σάββατο 29 Αυγούστου 2015

The Orthodox Church in Tanzania


Tanzania Map

by Bishop Theodoros Nankyamas (1964)
From the site of Archdiocese of Mwanza

Tanganyika has always been considered as being more favorable than Uganda and Kenya for those who would want to become Orthodox, for the main reason that more Greek Orthodox people lived there. Nevertheless, until today, no African Orthodox existed in that country. Even those said to have been baptized by the late Archi­mandrite Sarika were nowhere to be found. One might well have said that the Africans of this country were not interested in Orthodoxy.

Despite these facts, however, it appears that the natives of Tanganyika were not devoid of desire for Orthodoxy. This desire lay dormant in the depths of their soul until the dawn of Orthodoxy arrived and the Lord summoned then to a spontaneous awakening. It happened like this. In the village of Kassamua, 65 miles from Muanza, on the way to Geita, there is a wealthy seeding factory built and operated by Africans. In this factory many foreign people are employed, mostly Europeans and Indians. Among the employees there was the Greek Constantine Hadjipanayotou from Cyprus. The kindness and industriousness of this man soon attracted the attention of his African fellow-workers. The young Africans working in the factory were impressed by his readiness to help and teach them, in a kind and loving way, about the various aspects of their work. It was not long before they asked him about the religion of the Greek people – and he proceeded to tell them all he knew about Orthodoxy.

The most attentive of his listeners, Paul Budala, was an unmarried, smart, energetic, honest and willing young African about 25-30 years old, who knew English very well. He did not content himself with the few facts conveyed by Mr. Hadjipanayotou in their first contacts, but continued to visit him very often posing various questions. Mr. Hadjipanayotou had confided to me once that many times Mr. Budala had kept him from his work and quite a few times became annoyed at him for becoming a most astonishing nuisance. Young Budala wanted to know everything about Orthodoxy and many times at the expense of eating or sleeping. Finally, Mr. Budala asked Mr. Hadjipanayotou to at least teach him Greek, so that he can read about Orthodoxy from Orthodox books. After searching all the bookstores for a Greek language text in vain, Hadjipanayotou remembered that there was an Orthodox Church in Kampala, Uganda and told young Budala to write there.

Indeed his first letter was received without delay, despite its insufficient address. The letter was photo typed in Kampala and sent off to many Orthodox bishops and magazines. The astonishment at Mr. Budala's zeal was practically unanimous. From then on, a beautiful regular correspondence started between the Orthodox and Mr. Budala. Each letter from him was warmer than the previous ones, and his zeal steadily increased.

Early last December I had the opportunity to visit Kassamua, and was personally surprised at the enthusiasm of our Lord's new militia there. I arrived in the evening. After a short prayer, I offered them a short introduction to Orthodoxy. I was subsequently literally "bombarded" with questions until early next morning; even then their storehouse of questions was not exhausted.

I stayed with them for two days. Before my departure I gave them the addresses of godly Orthodox Christians as well as Orthodox magazines to write to. Since then, they have received Orthodox books, and many nice letters from several of them. We have to thank the Lord for this spontaneous expression of Christian brotherhood within our Church.

During my stay there they asked me to baptize them without further delay. This I did not do, how­ever, because no other Orthodox was there to be the god-father (Mr. Hadjipanayotou was away then) and secondly because they needed to be more fully aware of their faith, since most of them were adults.

Four months later Mr. Budala wrote to me that there were thirty persons on the list of cate­chumens and that he was the thirty-first. I replied to him that three priests from Kampala would go to Kassamua on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers to baptize them into the Orthodox faith. After completing my itinerary through Tanganyika I finally arrived at Kassamua. Unfortunately the other Orthodox priests could not be present. They were held up by transportation difficulties caused by the flooded rivers. So, I presided at the divine services by myself. All Greeks living in Mwanza were present this time. They arrived in Kassamua Saturday afternoon and brought with them all they thought necessary for a festive occasion.

Early Sunday morning everything was ready: First twenty persons were baptized and chris­mated, together with ten more persons that were only chrismated. After this, I celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a guest house. Subsequently, I joined four couples in holy matrimony who were al­ready married according to law and local customs. The Liturgy was said and sang in Swahili, pro­bably for the first time, because Mr. Budala had already made the translation.

It was April 28, 1963. The Sunday of the Myrrh-bearer women. All the Greeks stayed with the catechumens in the factory guesthouse where Mr. Hadjipanayotou usually stays when he works at the factory. He was kind enough to make all arrangements for this. The food and drinks that the Greeks brought with them were more than enough for the forty-five of us present. The fiesta was wonderful. Mr. Hadjipanayotou also prepared a baptismal font out of a steel barrel.

Fortunately, the guest house had running water which helped things very much. It was 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon when all was over. I was tired but somehow so deeply gratified, that I hardly felt it at all. All of us who have formerly been received into the Orthodox Church glorify Almighty God for this birth in Christ of our brothers in Tanganyika.

This amazing story from Tanganyika should not be looked upon as something entirely solitary. There are many others also, not only in Tanganyika, but also in Kenya and Uganda, that want to receive the True Faith of the Orthodox Christians. Unfortunately, the workers of the Church are few and cannot satisfy all those impatiently waiting for us to visit them and bring Christ to them.

These new Orthodox Christians of Tanganyika have already bought a plot of land where they will build their Church when the money is found. Mr. Hadjipanayotou advised young Budala to go to the Orthodox Seminary in Cyprus and prepare to become a priest. But he refused saying that if he went, the wolves would disperse his sheep. Instead, he gladly recommended another young man from the catechumens to go in his place. Young Budala has already translated the Orthodox catechism into Swahili. It will be printed in two languages as soon as the funds are allocated.

It is said that many Orthodox countries have not yet sent missionaries to East Africa , where a lot of people extremely thirst for Orthodoxy. Nevertheless we hope that they will do so. In the meantime we ask for your prayers as well as for your help for our Church in order that we may be able to maintain Orthodoxy, until your arrival, which we hope, will be quick, as we desire.

"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Fr. Theodoros NANKYAMAS
among brothers, the least 

The Orthodox Church in Tanzania has three holy dioceses: of Irinoupolis, Mwanza and Arusha.


The Holy Archdiocese of Irinoupolis, also known as Dar es Salaam, is a diocese under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Its territory includes the parishes and missions located in the countries of Tanzania, and the Seychelles Islands.
When the diocese was originally established in 1959, its jurisdiction included Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. At that time Metropolitan Nicholas established his see in Kampala. Since that time the archdiocese has been divided, with the formation of the Archdiocese of Kampala and All Uganda in 1995 and the Archdiocese of Kenya in 2001. 

Ruling Bishops 

Nicholas (Valeropoulos) 1959 — 1968
Nicodemus 1968 — 1972
Frumentius 1972 — 1981
See vacant after the death of Metr. Frumentius
Anastasios (Yannoulatos) — 1991 Acting metropolitan from the Church of Greece
Petros (Papapetrou) Exarch 1991 — 1994
Philemon 1999 — 2000
Dimitrios (Zaharengas) 2004 — Present 

Visiting a Maasai village
Photo from the article of sister Thekla My blessed tour in Iringa

Maria Vraka
Day nursery teacher
Orthodox Missionary Fraternity

Tanzania is a country of Eastern Africa eight times larger than Greece. AIDS is one of the most serious problems for its poor people. The Holy Metropolis of Eirinoupolis through His Grace Demetrios and the Missionaries Archimandrite Fotios Chatziantoniou and Michael Danios, participates in the daily struggle for survival of our African brothers in Tanzania by providing pharmaceutical medication to hundreds of AIDS patients and other sick people.

It has also created nine schools in various regions and cities. Primary schools, Junior and Senior High Schools, which, being constructed even in these days thanks to the support of sensitive donors, are handed over to the government for the service of the students of the Maasai tribe.
The Metropolis pays the tuition fees of many needy Orthodox students every school period. It also drills a lot of wells with potable water, since most houses have no taps. In addition, it offers daily a glass of milk and biscuits to two hundred and fifty starving children and every Sunday a meal to hundreds of young and old.

Moreover, it helps the twenty orthodox African priests spiritually so that they can become good spiritual fathers and take over the Missionary work. This, however, requires a big spiritual struggle and time. In terms of material needs, it has built a lot of presbyteries for the priests and cares for their necessary daily food provisions.

It is very moving to see the Africans sit in church quietly, receive the Holy Communion in perfect order and say all together the “Creed” (the Symbol of Faith) and the “Lord’s Prayer”, give out their hands when the priest says: “Let us love one another” and at the end of the Holy Liturgy sing so beautifully the hymn “O Virgin Pure”. By the Grace of God there are thirty holy churches which have been erected, and thousands of christenings that take place.

However, there are still plenty of needs as well as temptations for the poor children who walk on the streets barefoot but always seem to be happy and smiling.

It is truly remarkable the fact that only the Orthodox Mission managed to assist and stand by these children and those miserable people. By offering our slightest contribution to these happy little faces, we fill up with the joy of giving, which is one of the most wonderful moments for every Orthodox Christian.

Let us all pray to God to give health to both our African brothers and the Greek missionaries, who, setting their life at risk, struggle in order to bear witness to Orthodoxy and Greece.

"The second thing we would like you to know is that the ten thousand copies of the New Testament in the Swahili language, project which you kindly funded, have already been distributed. This means that ten thousand families have at home the saving Word of Christ and can study it and get the living water, which will become in them the spring of water gushing up to eternal life..." (Archimandrite Photios Chatziantoniou, from here).

Sister Theodora: the first Orthodox nun in Tanzania's Orthodox Church (Metropolis of Irinoupolis)

Can you see news & articles from the Orthodox Archdiocese of Irinoypolis here.

Video from Poreia Agapis


From the site

Metropolitan Jeronymos of Mwanza, Tanzania

From its creation by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 1997, the Diocese has been a success story in its mission work over the past nine years. The number of communities has gone from 55 to 164, the number of faithful has increased from 17,000 to over 41,000, permanent churches constructed have risen from 5 to 70, while the number of clergy has more than tripled, from 9 to 34; a seminary was opened and is now operating with 12 students in each academic year; two monasteries (one for women and the other for men) are under construction; two secondary schools have been built; four clinics and one hospital have been constructed. In addition, 7 mission houses have been constructed, a drilling machine has been acquired, a carpentry workshop has been opened, and we are receiving each year not less than 300 missionaries on short term basis to help us. All these successes are indeed owed to Christ Himself, for without Him nothing can be done. Additionally, the prayers of all the Saints. And last but not least, the prayers and blessings of His Beatitude Theodore, the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa. 

Weddings of many couples of Orthodox Christians in Tanzania.
Photo from here. About the Great Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church you can see here.

Mission Work

Much attention and effort has been put into moving from rural missionary work to urban missionary work. While maintaining our presence continuing to expand in rural settings, we have moved to some of the small and larger towns in the five regions of Kagera, Kigoma, Shinyanga, Mwanza and Musoma of the Diocese. In towns like Nkwenda, Kyaka, Kayanga, Bunazi, Muleba, Mugaza Muhutwe, Ibale, Buseresere, Geita, Magu, etc. an Orthodox Church has been planted over the past five or so years. However, we have had many challenges to face in towns, particularly because of the lack of capable personnel to administratively and pastorally manage town affairs. Nevertheless, the Orthodox Church is popular in both the rural and urban areas of the above mentioned regions.

In order to prepare for the future, we have encouraged education and training for our young men and women. Because most of our faithful are from the peasantry or lower classes of the urban dwellers, we have set up a scholarship program to enable them to pursue secondary and tertiary education. We have begun to reap the fruits of this program: Mr. Nestory Tibaza graduated and is now supervising the construction of the Kayanga Secondary School; Mr. Abel Eustad, a graduate of Law at Mzumbe University, is now the manager of our Church farm at Kenyana; and Mr. Dionysios Mulindwa, a graduate of Muhimbili College of Dar-es-Salaam University, is now in preparation to head our Mission Hospital in Bukoba. 

Photo from here

Necessary training and continued expansion of our Diocese is accompanied by the search for spiritual quality for our faithful. This led us not only to open up a seminary to train future priests and catechists but also to organize, on regular basis, seminars for priests, catechists, women, youth and students. The attendance is good and the results are encouraging. We are also encouraging the development of liturgical and sacramental life in our Diocese. Regarding liturgical life, we recently gave a special scholarship to a candidate named Mr. Leonard Thomas, to train in music in Nairobi-Kenya. This will help us to have our own music teacher to train our church choirs in chanting the different services of our Church well. When it comes to sacramental life, more effort has been put on marriage and frequent communion. The response from our neophytes is good and encouraging.


The contribution of monasticism in the history of our Church is well documented. We do feel that if we are looking for a solid way of rooting the Orthodox faith in the hearts of the African people, we have to, as early as possible, turn to monasticism. Monasteries will give the novices a chance to be exposed to the riches of the Orthodox theology and teachings, art, tradition, liturgics, and most importantly, through daily spiritual ascesis, to experience that communion with God which leads to enlightenment and theosis. Pious monks and nuns in turn will be the bearers of the Orthodox banners in their communities and the Diocese at large. Two monasteries are being erected. One, a convent, in the town of Bukoba, is just five kilometers from the town center. And the other is a monastery being erected about thirty five kilometers from the town center. These two monasteries are the hope of our future Orthodoxy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Church Construction 

A recently built church in the Diocese of Bukoba

As we open up new communities, there is a need to set up a place of worship. Worship is the unique identity of an Orthodox community. Most worship places are huts. This has been non-pleasing to most of our pious and mission-loving faithful. And they have responded by being very generous to the cause of church construction. For our part, we have organized our neophytes to participate fully in the erecting of permanent churches for their communities. Since 1998, the year in which the first church was built, we have built over 70 permanent churches with the assistance of our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Cyprus, Greece and the U.S.A. and with the active participation of our neophytes. A permanent church, in any given Orthodox community, sends a clear message to the Orthodox people but even beyond that the Orthodox Church is here to stay and to stay forever in order to sanctify and save her faithful.

Social Work

We do our mission work in this part of the world with concern for social work. This has been done so for two reasons: First, our mission is always holistic in the sense that salvation is for the whole person, body and soul. Second, we are doing mission in Sub-Saharan Africa where poverty, ignorance and disease have tightened their grip on the population. In our social work, we are freeing our brothers and sisters from the tyrannical bondage of the vicious circle of poverty, ignorance and disease. Always hand-cuffed by limited resources, we have acquired a drilling machine to dig wells for clean and safe drinking water. We have built a hospital in the municipality of Bukoba and clinics in rural areas for the provision of both curative and preventive medical services. We have built two secondary schools, one in Rubale and the other in Kayanga, for the provision of quality education for our young men and women. And more projects are being drawn up with the aim of fighting the poverty, ignorance and disease that so afflict our people. 

Concluding Remarks

The Bukoba Diocese is situated in an area of Tanzania where there is a great potential for its growth and expansion. So if there is a collective effort from within and without, we can have a large and dynamic local Orthodox Church in this part of the world. In order to achieve this, there is a need to consolidate what has been achieved up to now by mobilizing trained personnel in different disciplines from other Orthodox countries to come and assist in training priests, teaching catechism, running schools and hospitals, etc. This should be done in close cooperation with our neophytes so that we can cultivate an Orthodox ethos in our institutions which eventually will be reflected in this pluralistic religious society of Tanzania. 

Can you see news & articles from the Orthodox Archdiocese of Mwanza here.

On 11th December 2016, the Sunday of the Forefathers, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy and during the service he performed the ordination of His Grace Agathonikos, Bishop of Arusha and Central Tanzania, at the Hοly Patriarchal Church of St. Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria.
Our Lord Jesus Christ bless his work. Amen.

On Saturday 29th April, the eve of the Enthronement of His Grace Agathonikos Bishop of Arusha and Central Tanzania, with the blessing of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and in the presence of His Eminence Dimitrios Metropolitan of Irinopolis, Caretaker of the Diocese, a group of visitors from the Holy Metropolis of Kitros and Katerini, comprising the Very Reverend Archimandrite Maximos Kyritsis, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St Dionysios in Olympus, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Barnabas Leontiadis, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Kitros, the Reverend Protopresbyter Fr. Angelos Giannikis and the Archdeacon Fr. Panteleimon Tsarapatsanis as well as Monk Marcellus from the Holy Monastery of St Anthony in Arizona, America, in the Missionary Centre of Kidamal in the Iriga district, group baptism took place in the outdoor baptistery of the Holy Church of Ss Andronikos and Athanasia.
Specifically, 165 natives were baptized, among whom were many Masai from the surrounding areas. These are moments that remind us of the first Christian years, when you are faced with the enthusiasm and the appeal of faith of those being baptized reflected in their illumined faces. After the baptisms which lasted for four hours, a rich outdoor lunch was hosted for our four hundred brothers and sisters present.
On 30th April, Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, and with the blessing of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, the enthronement of His Grace Agathonikos Bishop of Arusha and Central Tanzania took place at the Holy Church of St Dimitrios in the Hellenic Community of Iriga. The Enthronement took place after the end of the Divine Liturgy and was officiated by the Caretaker of the Diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Dimitrios of Irinopolis, who read the Greeting of His Beatitude and addressed the newly-enthrone Bishop.  More here.