From the name of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, the first such church in South Africa: see quotation 1968 at Zionism (below).
A.adjectiveOf or pertaining to a group of independent southern African churches which practise a form of Christianity incorporating elements of traditional African beliefs.See also Shembe, ZCC.
1941W.M.B. Nhlapo inBantu World 1 Mar. 9I have been fortunate to see two well-established churches; Shembe in Natal and Mahona in the Free State. All the other Zionist churches are but tiny and poor shadows of these two.
1959L. LongmoreDispossessed 325Sundkler discussing African separatist churches of the Zionist type points out that they are hostile to European techniques of education and medicine. They..carry over into their doctrines and worship values and rituals derived from traditional religion.
1962M. Brandel-SyrierBlack Woman 235‘Zionist’ Churches are..revivalistic, emotional, prophetic and visionary. Not so anti-European as the Ethiopians.
1968Cole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 152Zionist prophets..are believed..to be invested by the Holy Spirit with a supernatural power to heal.
1980M. Matshoba inM. MutloatseForced Landing 126Converts wore their ‘Zionist’ uniforms of blue on snow-white and clutched their staffs and bibles to join other worshippers in the locations.
1990S. Afr. Panorama Nov.–Dec. 4The most important impetus for Zionist churches came from Zion City near Chicago in the USA.
B.nounA member of a Zionist church; in pl., also used as a collective term for these churches and their members.
1948B.G.M. SundklerBantu Prophets 55Theologically the Zionists are now a syncretistic Bantu movement with healing, speaking with tongues, purification rites, and taboos as the main expressions of their faith.
Of or pertaining to a group of independent southern African churches which practise a form of Christianity incorporating elements of traditional African beliefs.
A member of a Zionist church; in pl., also used as a collective term for these churches and their members.
Hence Zionismnoun, the religious beliefs and practices of these churches; the churches collectively, described as a movement.
1968Cole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 151African Zionism has no connection with any modern Jewish movement. It is based on a Christian sect founded..in 1896 by John Alexander Doxie. By 1904, missionaries from Zion, Illinois, were carrying Doxie’s teaching to a receptive African audience.
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