Τρίτη 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Endangered animal species in Africa

Top 10 most endangered animal species in Africa
By Michael Theys on April 1, 2010 in Environment Africa Freak
The following listing is based upon IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species!

1. Addax

Scientific Name: Addax nasomaculatus.

Status: Critically Endangered.

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and harassment. Also drought and the extension of pastoralism.

Population: Less than 300 animals surviving in the wild.

Countries: Chad, Mauritania, Niger.

Also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, the addax lives in the Sahara desert.

2. Ethiopian Wolf

Scientific Name: Canis simensis.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Loss of habitat (agriculture), disease epizootics and hybridization with domestic dogs.

Population: 400-550 individuals.

Countries: Endemic to the Ethiopian highlands.

A canid native to the Ethiopian Highlands. It is similar to the coyote in size and build, and is distinguished by its long and narrow skull, and its red and white fur.

3. Mountain Gorilla

Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Habitat loss, poaching, pet trade and illegal hunting (bushmeat).

Population: Closest estimate is 680 mountain gorillas.

Countries: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The Mountain Gorilla is a subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are only two populations left on Earth.

4. Pygmy Hippopotamus

Scientific Name: Choeropsis liberiensis.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Deforestation for farming and logging + bushmeat hunting.

Population: The latest estimate (1993 survey) is pretty much outdated (2000-3000 pygmy hippos). Since the population trend is on a decrease, fewer than 2000 individuals is probably more accurate (although this stat is clearly approximate).

Countries: Endemic to West Africa; Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia.

Reclusive and nocturnal, the pygmy hippo is semi-aquatic and relies on proximity to water to keep its skin moisturised and its body temperature cool.

5. African Wild Dog

Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus.

Status: Endangered.

Threats: Conflict with human activities and infectious disease (e.g. rabies).

Population: 3000-5500.

Countries: Native to Botswana; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Senegal; South Africa; Sudan; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe. The African wild dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. Uniquely among social carnivores, it is the females rather than the males that scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature, and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses.

6. Black Rhinoceros

Scientific Name: Diceros bicornis.

Status: Critically Endangered.

Threats: Mainly poaching for its horn and “medicinal” value (China).

Population: Has declined by over 90% over the last 60 odd years. Current estimation is at roughly 4180 black rhinos.

Countries: Kenya; Namibia; South Africa; Tanzania; Zimbabwe.

Although the rhinoceros is referred to as ‘black’, its colours vary from brown to grey.

7. Cheetah

Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus.

Status: Vulnerable.

Threats: Habitat loss, fragmentation and human conflict (mainly farmers).

Population: 10 000-15 000. Cheetahs are believed to have lost over 76% of their historic range on the continent.

Countries: Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Chad; The Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Islamic Republic of Iran; Kenya; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; United Republic of Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe. 

8. African Lion

Scientific Name: Panthera leo.

Status: Vulnerable.

Threats: Poisoning to protect local livestock (Refer to Furadan), prey base depletion, habitat loss and trophy hunting.

Population: Best estimate is 20 000-23 000. Such a pity, especially when you consider their number 50 years ago (450 000 lions; a loss of +/- 95%). 

Countries: Most of sub-Saharan Africa. 

9. African Penguin (Jackass Penguin)

Scientific Name: Spheniscus demersus.

Status: Vulnerable.

Threats: Commercial fisheries and oil spills.

Population: 72 000 birds.

Countries: Angola; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa

10. African Elephant

Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana.

Status: Vulnerable.

Threats: Poaching for ivory and meat + loss of habitat.

Population: 470 000-690 000.

Countries: Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo; Côte d’Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

Endangered Mammals of Africa

Earth's Endangered Creatures

Click on the species name to view its profile.

Common Name Range ***
AddaxNorth Africa
African Wild AssEthiopia, Somalia, Sudan
African Wild DogSub-saharan Africa
Aye-ayeMalagasy Republic (Madagascar)
Barbary ServalAlgeria
Black RhinocerosSub-saharan Africa
Cameroon Clawless OtterCameroon, Nigeria
CheetahAfrica to India
Clarke's GazelleEthiopia, Somalia
Coquerel's SifakaMadagascar
Cuvier's GazelleAlgeria, Morocco, Tunisia
Dama GazelleAfrica
Dorcas GazelleAlgeria, Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia
DugongEast Africa to Southern Japan
Ethiopian WolfEthiopia
Fork-crowned LemurMadagascar
Hairy-eared Dwarf LemurMadagascar
LeopardAfrica, Asia, Middle East
Malagasy Giant Jumping RatMadagascar
Mediterranean Monk SealMediterranean Sea, Northwest African Coast and Black Sea
Mountain ZebraNamibia, South Africa
Pygmy ChimpanzeeDemocratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
Pygmy Mouse LemurMadagascar
Red-eared Nose-spotted MonkeyCameroon, Fernando Po, Nigeria
Rodrigues Fruit BatIndian Ocean (Rodrigues Island)
Sand CatAfrica, Asia, Europe, Middle East
Slender-horned GazelleAlgeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan
Striped HyenaAsia, Africa, and the Middle East, Europe
Western Giant ElandSenegal to Ivory Coast
Western Lowland GorillaCentral and Western Africa
White-throated GuenonWestern Nigeria
Zanzibar SuniZanzibar (and nearby islands) 

Mammals | Birds | Reptiles | Amphibians | Fishes | Insects | Arachnids
Worms | Clams | Crustaceans | Snails | Corals, Jellyfish, and Sea Anemones

See also

The god called “Earth”
Orthodoxy's Worship: The Sanctification of the Entire World
A Letter from an Orthodox Christian to our Native Americans Brothers 
in Search of Orthodoxy (tag) 
National parks of Africa


Zulu people

From Wikipedia

"Amazulu" redirects here. For other uses, see Amazulu (disambiguation).
Zulu People
Jacob Zuma 2014 (cropped).jpg
Albert Lutuli nobel.jpg
Former Pres. Bill Clinton Speaks With South African Minister of Justice Radebe.jpg
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (1983).jpg
Lucas radebe cropped.JPG
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma 2014.png
Zoulous (Shakaland).jpg
Zulu in traditional clothes
Total population
~ 12,159,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
 South Africa 10,659,309 (2001 census)
to 11,508,000[1][2]
 Lesotho 320,000[1]
 Zimbabwe 152,000[1]
 Swaziland 106,000[1]
 Malawi 64,000[1]
 Botswana 5,300[1]
 Mozambique 3,900[1]
Zulu (many also speak English, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Xhosa)
Christian, Zulu religion
Related ethnic groups
Nguni, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, other Bantu peoples

People amaZulu
Language isiZulu
Country kwaZulu
The Zulu (Zulu: amaZulu) are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated 10–11 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Small numbers also live in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Their language, Zulu, is a Bantu language; more specifically, part of the Nguni subgroup.


The Zulu were originally a major clan in what is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded ca. 1709 by Zulu kaNtombela. In the Nguni languages, iZulu/iliZulu/liTulu means heaven, or sky. At that time, the area was occupied by many large Nguni communities and clans (also called isizwe=nation, people or isibongo=clan). Nguni communities had migrated down Africa's east coast over centuries, as part of the Bantu migrations probably arriving in what is now South Africa in about the 9th century.

Shaka, king of the Zulu. After a sketch by Lt. James King, a Port Natal merchant


Main article: Zulu Kingdom
The Zulu formed a powerful state in 1818[3] under the leader Shaka. Shaka, as the Zulu King, gained a large amount of power over the tribe. As commander in the army of the powerful Mthethwa Empire, he became leader of his mentor Dingiswayo's paramouncy and united what was once a confederation of tribes into an imposing empire under Zulu hegemony.

Conflict with the British

Main article: Anglo-Zulu War
On 11 December 1878, agents of the British delivered an ultimatum to 11 chiefs representing Cetshwayo. The terms forced upon Cetshwayo required him to disband his army and accept British authority. Cetshwayo refused, and war followed January 12, 1879. During the war, the Zulus defeated the British at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January. The British managed to get the upper hand after the battle at Rorke's Drift, and subsequently win the war with the Zulu being defeated at the Battle of Ulundi on 4 July.

Absorption into Natal

Zulu warriors, late nineteenth century
(Europeans in background)

After Cetshwayo's capture a month following his defeat, the British divided the Zulu Empire into 13 "kinglets". The sub-kingdoms fought amongst each other until 1883 when Cetshwayo was reinstated as king over Zululand. This still did not stop the fighting and the Zulu monarch was forced to flee his realm by Zibhebhu, one of the 13 kinglets, supported by Boer mercenaries. Cetshwayo died in February 1884, killed by Zibhebhu's regime, leaving his son, the 15-year-old Dinuzulu, to inherit the throne. In-fighting between the Zulu continued for years, until Zululand was absorbed fully into the British colony of Natal.

Apartheid years

KwaZulu homeland  
Main article: KwaZulu

Zulu man performing traditional warrior dance

Under apartheid, the homeland of KwaZulu (Kwa meaning place of) was created for Zulu people. In 1970, the Bantu Homeland Citizenship Act provided that all Zulus would become citizens of KwaZulu, losing their South African citizenship. KwaZulu consisted of a large number of disconnected pieces of land, in what is now KwaZulu-Natal. Hundreds of thousands of Zulu people living on privately owned "black spots" outside of KwaZulu were dispossessed and forcibly moved to bantustans – worse land previously reserved for whites contiguous to existing areas of KwaZulu – in the name of "consolidation." By 1993, approximately 5.2 million Zulu people lived in KwaZulu, and approximately 2 million lived in the rest of South Africa. The Chief Minister of KwaZulu, from its creation in 1970 (as Zululand) was Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. In 1994, KwaZulu was joined with the province of Natal, to form modern KwaZulu-Natal.

Inkatha YeSizwe

Main article: Inkatha Freedom Party
Inkatha YeSizwe means "the crown of the nation". In 1975, Buthelezi revived the Inkatha YaKwaZulu, predecessor of the Inkatha Freedom Party. This organization was nominally a protest movement against apartheid, but held more conservative views than the ANC. For example, Inkatha was opposed to the armed struggle, and to sanctions against South Africa. Inkatha was initially on good terms with the ANC, but the two organizations came into increasing conflict beginning in 1976 in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising.

Modern Zulu population

Zulu mother and child

The modern Zulu population is fairly evenly distributed in both urban and rural areas. Although KwaZulu-Natal is still their heartland, large numbers have been attracted to the relative economic prosperity of Gauteng province. Indeed, Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in the province, followed by Sotho.


Map of South Africa showing the primary Zulu language speech area in green

Main article: Zulu language
The language of the Zulu people is "isiZulu", a Bantu language; more specifically, part of the Nguni subgroup. Zulu is the most widely spoken language in South Africa, where it is an official language. More than half of the South African population are able to understand it, with over 9 million first-language and over 15 million second-language speakers.[4] Many Zulu people also speak Afrikaans, English, Portuguese, Xitsonga, Sesotho and others from among South Africa's 11 official languages.


See also: Swenkas

Zulu village women in traditional clothing.

Interior space of a traditional beehive hut, or iQhugwane

Zulus wear a variety of attire, both traditional for ceremonial or culturally celebratory occasions, and modern westernized clothing for everyday use.The women dress differently depending on whether they are single, engaged, or married. The men wore a leather belt with two strips of hide hanging down front and back

Religion and beliefs

See also: Zulu mythology

Zulu worshippers at a United African Apostolic Church, near Oribi Gorge

Most Zulu people state their beliefs to be Christian. Some of the most common churches to which they belong are African Initiated Churches, especially the Zion Christian Church and United African Apostolic Church, although membership of major European Churches, such as the Dutch Reformed, Anglican and Catholic Churches are also common. Nevertheless, many Zulus retain their traditional pre-Christian belief system of ancestor worship in parallel with their Christianity.
Zulu religion includes belief in a creator God (Unkulunkulu) who is above interacting in day-to-day human affairs, although this belief appears to have originated from efforts by early Christian missionaries to frame the idea of the Christian God in Zulu terms.[5] Traditionally, the more strongly held Zulu belief was in ancestor spirits (Amatongo or Amadhlozi), who had the power to intervene in people's lives, for good or ill.[6] This belief continues to be widespread among the modern Zulu population.[7]
Traditionally, the Zulu recognize several elements to be present in a human being: the physical body (inyamalumzimba or umzimba); the breath or life force (umoyalumphefumulo or umoya); and the "shadow," prestige, or personality (isithunzi). Once the umoya leaves the body, the isithunzi may live on as an ancestral spirit (idlozi) only if certain conditions were met in life.[8][9] Behaving with ubuntu, or showing respect and generosity towards others, enhances one's moral standing or prestige in the community, one's isithunzi.[10] By contrast, acting in a negative way towards others can reduce the isithunzi, and it is possible for the isithunzi to fade away completely.[11]

Zulu sangomas (diviners)

In order to appeal to the spirit world, a diviner (sangoma) must invoke the ancestors through divination processes to determine the problem. Then, a herbalist (inyanga) prepares a mixture (muthi) to be consumed in order to influence the ancestors. As such, diviners and herbalists play an important part in the daily lives of the Zulu people. However, a distinction is made between white muthi (umuthi omhlope), which has positive effects, such as healing or the prevention or reversal of misfortune, and black muthi (umuthi omnyama), which can bring illness or death to others, or ill-gotten wealth to the user.[7] Users of black muthi are considered witches, and shunned by society.
Christianity had difficulty gaining a foothold among the Zulu people, and when it did it was in a syncretic fashion. Isaiah Shembe, considered the Zulu Messiah, presented a form of Christianity (the Nazareth Baptist Church) which incorporated traditional customs.[12]

From our blog

Jesus Prayer in Zulu (here)

Nkosi Jesu Kristu, Ndodana kaNkulunkulu ophilayo, ngihawukele mina isoni. 

Orthodox Zulu (from here)

Notable Zulus

Politicians and activists

Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma - Chairperson, African Union Commission
Credo Mutwa - Spiritual leader of the Zulu people.
Pixley ka Isaka Seme - Founder of African National Congress and the first black lawyer in South Africa.
Jacob Zuma - President of the Republic of South Africa.
Chief Albert Luthuli - President of the African National Congress and first South African Nobel Peace laureate.
King Shaka ka Senzangakhona - Founder of the Zulu Nation
Princess Constance Magogo Sibilile Mantithi Ngangezinye kaDinuzulu - Artist and Zulu Princess
John Langalibalele Dube - first President of the African National Congress, founder of Ohlange Institute, Educator.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Inkatha Freedom Party Founder and President
Ben Ngubane, Former SABC Chairperson & Former Premier of Kwa Zulu Natal
Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration
Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education
Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs
Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture
Sibusiso Ndebele, Former Minister of Correctional services & Former Premier of Kwa Zulu Natal
Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Founder of National Freedom Party (splinter group from Inkatha Freedom Party)
Business and professional figures
Phuthuma Nhleko, Former MTN CEO 


Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Former University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor & Writer.

Sport figures

Doctor Khumalo, Soccer player
Lucas Radebe, Soccer player
Samkelo Radebe, Paralympic runner and gold medal winner
Siphiwe Tshabalala, Soccer player

See also

Gumboot dance
Inkatha Freedom Party
List of Zulu kings
List of Zulus
Shaka Zulu
Zulu language


"The Zulu people group are reported in 7 countries". Retrieved 21 August 2015.

International Marketing Council of South Africa (9 July 2003). "South Africa grows to 44.8 million". southafrica.info. Retrieved 4 March 2005.

Bulliet (2008). The Earth and Its Peoples. USA: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 708. ISBN 978-0-618-77148-6.
"Ethnologue report for language code ZUL". Ethnologue.

Irving Hexham (1979). "Lord of the Sky-King of the Earth: Zulu traditional religion and belief in the sky god". Studies in Religion (University of Waterloo). Retrieved 26 October 2008.

Henry Callaway (1870). "Part I:Unkulunkulu". The Religious System of the Amazulu. Springvale.

Adam Ashforth (2005). "Muthi, Medicine and Witchcraft: Regulating ‘African Science’ in Post-Apartheid South Africa?". Social Dynamics 31:2. External link in |work= (help)

Molefi K. Asante, Ama Mazama (2009). Encyclopedia of African religion, Volume 1. Sage.

Axel-Ivar Berglund (1976). Zulu thought-patterns and symbolism. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.

Abraham Modisa Mkhondo Mzondi (2009). Two Souls Leadership: Dynamic Interplay of Ubuntu, Western and New Testament Leadership Values (PDF) (Thesis). submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctorate in Theology, University of Johannesburg.

Nwamilorho Joseph Tshawane (2009). The Rainbow Nation: A Critical Analysis of the Notions of Community in the Thinking of Desmond Tutu (PDF) (Thesis). submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctorate in Theology, University of South Africa.
"Art & Life in Africa Online - Zulu". University of Iowa. Retrieved 6 June 2007. 

External links
From our blog

Native ethnic groups of Africa  


Δευτέρα 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

The Orthodox Church in Zambia & Malawi (Orthodox Archdiocese of Zambia and Malawi)

Photo taken at Lusaka Greek Orthodox Church by Svetlana O. on 4/19/2014
Orthodox liturgy in Lusaka (from here)
The Holy Archdiocese of Zambia and Malawi is an archdiocese under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Its territory includes the parishes and missions located in the nations of Zambia and Malawi.
The Archdiocese was originally established as the Diocese of Zambia by a Patriarchal and Synodal decree on February 22, 2001 with jurisdiction over Zambia. On October 6, 2009, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese with jurisdiction over Zambia and Malawi. The see of the archdiocese is located in Lusaka, Zambia.
On October 13, 2011, His Beatitude Theodoros II of Alexandria, His Eminence Ioakeim of Zambia and Malawi, His Grace Ioannis of Mozambique, and His Grace Nikodimos of Nitria, consecrated the new Church of the Resurrection of the Lord in the city of Blantyre in Malawi. The church with its auxiliary school buildings and a clinic have improved a formerly dissolute area, that His Beatitude also noted to the Malawi officials would include a planned hospital.

Κωνσταντίνος Ιωακείμ Κοντοβάς 
Archbishop Ioakeim

Ruling Bishops

News & articles from Archdiocese of Zambia & Malawi & here.
Archbishop Ioakeim of Zambia & Malawi, facebook
How Our Orthodox Brethren In Zambia Commune (video) 

Lusaka Greek Orthodox Church - Foursquare

Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa  
In the Orthodox Vineyard of Africa

Pupils of our school holding easter eggs
Malawi, pupils of our school holding easter eggs (from here)

Walking to the Kingdom of Heaven

Fr. Ermolaos Iatrou
Dear brothers,
...Today the Orthodox community of Malawi is mourning. We are all sad because we have lost a very important and beloved member of our Church.

Paul, our neophyte orthodox native brother and catechist with fervent missionary zeal, is no longer with us. His soul has gone to meet Christ, whom he so much loved.

Paul was an exemplary Orthodox Christian. He had been catechizing his native brothers properly for plenty of years. He longed to communicate Orthodoxy to his country and was sorry that not all Malawian people were Orthodox, like Greeks! He was a little theologian! He attended our seminars for a year regularly and was among the first to come; he would take down notes very carefully and every week he would draw as much orthodox knowledge as possible from the weekly papers we have available in English and tsitseoua and would impart them to others.
Among his many catechumens was Father Ezekiel (the newly ordained priest), who, deeply touched, perfomed the funeral service along with Father Nicodemus.
The deceased Paul loved the orthodox prayer book so much that he was carrying it with him all the time, feeling, as he used to say, that it was as valuable as the Holy Bible. He marveled at the profound meanings coming out of the God-inspired prayers of the compline and the other prayers of night and day. He would pray being fully aware of what a prayer means. The prayer book was his best friend, that is why he tried to impart this experience to the others as well.
At the region of Dirandi, Paul was of the first Christians who formed a prayer group and begged daily and persistently to God to give them a Church; Indeed, God heard their prayers because a prestigious plot was found and purchased in their area as well as the donor who would build the Church in the name of Aghios Antonios (Saint Antony). This way, on the one hand Paul’s soul flew to Heaven, on the other we are going to make his wish come true. We are certain that he rejoices up there and glorifies God for listening to his prayers.
Our beloved Paul, even in the last days of his life when God visited him with his illness (tuberculosis), made us admire him because not even once did he resent his condition for two whole months that he was sent to hospital. Instead, he was glorifying God! He had a peace and gratitude for everything. As he would say: “God has given me the most precious gift, true faith.” He felt that deep inside, that is why he was really grateful despite his material poverty.
He left his last breath at the age of 51 in hospital, in the arms of his wife, a very pious neophyte Orthodox Christian. His soul flew to the Creator in reverence.
It is worth mentioning that his funeral service was attended by a lot of natives, Orthodox, non-orthodox, even Muslims, since he was beloved by everyone. Through the love and peace that characterized him, he had achieved something very important: to reconcile, unite and preach the love of Christ.
It is not an overstatement to say that until the last moment of his earthly life, Paul was honored by God to bring people close to the Orthodox faith and tradition that he so much believed in and loved.
We dare say so because a large number of people who attended the funeral service marveled at the grandeur, and the profound meanings of the psalms and the prayers of the service. They said: “What beautiful words you have, who are you, where are you so that we can come to be catechized….”

Wondrous is God, who finds ways to invite us close to him.
Everlasting be the memory of our brother Paul.

Fr. Nicodemus Chilembwe: an indigenous missionary
Father Nicodemus Chilembwe, Orthodox clergyman from Blantyre, Malawi, happened to be in Greece this summer in order to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Mount Athos and delve into Orthodox spirituality. Taking advantage of his presence, we asked him to talk to us about Orthodoxy in this small country in East Africa.
7 years ago I was a Protestant in religion and a translator in profession. I liked to read and translate texts from English into Chichewa, the native language of Malawi. One day, as I was crossing the city, my eyes fell upon an Orthodox church. I found the spectacle rather strange. In some way it looked like a mosque, but the cross indicated that it was something related to Christianity. Curiosity prompted me to go in and observe its interior. I got confused. Although I was a faithful Protestant, that place was totally unfamiliar to me. A deep sense of awe came over me.
Suddenly, I saw a black figure approaching me from the north side of the church. I wanted to run away, but an Orthodox priest stopped me. It was Fr. Ermolaos Iatrou. “Who are you? What made ​​you come here?” he asked. “I wanted to know some things about this church,” I said and started to ask questions. After some discussion, I asked him to accept me for catechesis.

Some time later, Fr. Ermolaos asked me what I did professionally. Once I told him that I was a translator, he suggested that I should work in the translation and printing office of the Mission. It came as a blessing to me. At the same time, he gave me a stack of books on the Orthodox faith to study at home. Little by little, some of my friends were interested in what I was doing and wanted to come for catechesis themselves. I was baptized one year later. Initially, it was difficult for my family to understand my conversion, but by the grace of God that changed.
On May Day 2009 I was ordained priest. This was a blessing as well as a new opportunity for me to get to know my faith better. In the Orthodox Church we can never learn it all. We always learn something new.
Then, I was assigned the ministry of catechesis. In time, I came to realize that the doctrines of our Holy Church are very strong because Orthodoxy originated in the Apostolic Age, the age of the Bible. It is not like the other churches that sprang up suddenly out of nowhere, without roots.
In the Orthodox Church, when we pray, we feel the power of the prayer. The protestants know nothing about the Holy Mysteries. Neither do they talk about the Holy Trinity. They perform baptism just by sprinkling with water and not according to the teachings of the Bible. Our pastors were afraid of getting wet with the water. They do not practice the Sacrament of Confession, neither do they have a spiritual father. However, when one wants to meet a President, one has to follow a protocol. Likewise, we should keep the protocol set by God for the remission of our sins.
This is true Faith. And the people who are serious eventually come to realize that, whether they turn to Orthodoxy or not. Unfortunately, Orthodoxy is something new for my country. They constantly ask me, “Where have these people been for so many centuries?” This is a difficult question to answer. My reply is that it was God’s plan.

Today there are 2,000 people who have already been baptized Orthodox and many others who are being monitored and catechized for at least one year.
Our main activity is catechesis. Naturally, this involves a lot of traveling from the city to the villages. Getting around is really difficult. Problems like having no petrol or getting stuck on the road are very common. We have 25 parishes across the country, with the exception of the northernmost part, but so far we have only managed to erect a Sacred Church in 10 of them.
Moreover, we do charity work as well. We do everything in our power to provide access to clean water because Malawi faces a big problem regarding water supply. We have already drilled over 20 water wells. Besides, we strive to provide food for 300 orphans on a daily basis, a task which is very difficult to accomplish! Many times we have nothing to give them; it is then that the thought of giving up crosses our minds. But since we started, it would be like an act of betrayal towards these children. We hope in God and continue our work.
We also try to visit prisons regularly. We give the prisoners gifts and also preach and catechize them. Some groups have already been formed but until now there have been no baptisms. On our part, we have designated a committee to visit and catechize the inmates in every prison. We also wish to organize spiritual meetings for women, but so far we have not managed to realize that.
Fortunately, there are some believers who are characterized by great zeal for the propagation of our faith. We have sent six of them to Kenya to study at the Theological Seminary there. Once they have finished and if called by God, they will be ordained priests. There are also some earnest catechists who are sent to the villages for catechesis. Every week we invite them and teach them at the school for Catechists. We instruct them not to teach anything that is not included in the Orthodox books, and certainly not to improvise. If they cannot respond to a certain question, they should not say anything, but instead, consult their books, read the proper answer and then explain it.

Running the printing and translation center of our mission is a difficult and demanding job. We need to find educated persons with a very good knowledge of English. Unfortunately we have no Orthodox people available who would be eligible to undertake the translation task. We have already translated the services of the Divine Liturgy and of some Sacraments. We have provided every believer with a booklet to read and understand the Divine Liturgy. We are currently translating the Menaea. Most believers attend the Matins, the Vespers and the Compline.
The translation process is a very tedious and costly task for our Mission. Good translators ask for a good salary, too. Thus a lot of money is required, as we do not need someone who only deals with translations part-time, because then the quality of the translation will be substandard and the translation rates slower. If something is unfamiliar or new to the translators, they come to me and I explain it to them.
I hope to increase in my knowledge of God. I am not pleased with myself. Recently I was in the Holy Monastery of Karakalou. There I had the chance to do some meditation and I wondered how much more difficult it is for a married clergyman who lives in the world to be saved. I read the book on Elder Joseph the Hesychast and I realized that I did not know many things and that my knowledge of God was limited. I want to be very close to my spiritual father and other devout brothers in order to fill my life with the truth. I also want to be able to share this truth with all the people so that we can inherit eternal life, which only the Orthodox faith can attain. My vision is to become holy myself and lead people’s souls to Christ.

Fr. Nicodemus Chilembwe

Neophyte Orthodox brothers in Malawi
Neophyte Orthodox brothers in Malawi (from here)

A church for Ngwara village

Dear friends of the Mission,
Rejoice in the Lord!
We are writing from far-off Malawi in Africa in order to share with you the joys and sorrows of the Mission one more time. Always with the blessings of our Metropolitan, we keep up our humble ministry in praise of oυr Benevolent God, and our Church here is growing slowly but firmly.
Through plenty of difficulties and with your valuable support so far, we have managed to erect a small number of churches and schools, thus meeting some of the neophytes’ needs. Unfortunately, neither our holy churches nor the schools are enough. In almost 10 parishes that have been formed, our orthodox brothers gather in thatched huts. It is there that they pray. It is there that their holy services are conducted. In the rainy season the roofs are often leaky, or the mud bricks collapse.
One of these parishes is the Chiradzulu region, in the mountainous village of Ngwara. In this village, we baptized the first orthodox Christians in the last four years. Their patience and endurance are admirable.They themselves made this thatched hut and gather on Sundays and feast days. One might expect that their interest in faith would decrease and that they would be turned away from our Church. On the contrary! They were not disappointed. Nor did they betray their faith.They often say: ”We were baptized Orthodox Christians, and with that faith we shall die.” They often pray to God with tears in their eyes so that He reveals a devout donor to build them a proper church. That is the only request they have in their hearts: a Holy Church in which they will be able to worship our Triune God decently.


We are deeply touched by their moving interest and sole concern, which is to have a strong, healthy parish. Actually, they have organized their parish very well. They have elected church-wardens. They discuss their problems all together and in groups they visit other Christians who are in greater need. Each one of them gives a few kwachas; This way, they manage to raise a scant amount of money and relieve some afflicted souls. This parish is an enviable model of philanthropy and love. These people give out of the little they have in order to help others who need it more… some elderly, the orphans of the village, the lonely ones, the disabled and the destitute. All these receive the assistance of the parish and have its protection. Our brothers there often ask us which Saint they should dedicate their Holy Church to (that is, the thatched hut they use for a church). We do not answer them because we do not know ourselves, since it is the donor who usually determines where the Holy Church will be dedicated. And they wait patiently. Patience and prayer.
Brothers, let us not keep these good-hearted people waiting, for they are conscious believers who have applied the Bible to their lives. We appeal to your love: if any of you can afford it, let them offer this region a church. The one who builds a Holy Church in the Chiradzulu region, Ngwara village, will be granted a lot of blessings. These people will be deeply and eternally grateful to the one who will offer them a plain Holy Church. Their ardent prayers will be with him/her for ever. Their priest will be commemorating their benefactor and his/her family in the Divine Liturgy continuously.
From that spiritual flock, a new gifted future priest has already stood out. It is the catechist Alexander, who, by the Grace of God, will be sent next year to study at the Theological Seminary of Kenya for three years. It is no wonder that from such parishes like the one of the Ngwara village, only spiritual virtues can come out!
With love in Christ

Fr. Ermolaos Iatrou from Malawi

The first bucket of clean water for the residents of Likulezi, MalawiThe first bucket of clean water for the residents of Likulezi, Malawi (from the article Rivers of Living Water)