ATM wishes Shembe church well on annual pilgrimage
Shembe leaders lead believes in one of South Africa's biggest annual pilgrimages.
Shembe Church congregants at Khenana holy mountain in Indwede in KZN. Picture: Nigel Sibanda/The Citizen
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has wished the Nazareth Baptist Church well on its 113th pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Ekhenana in Durban.
The Nazareth Baptist Church also known as “Shembe” church kicked off their pilgrimage on Tuesday.
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Walking bare feet believers were expected to walk at least 60km to the Holy Mountain this included men, women and children.
Second biggest church in SA
The Shembe church is one of South Africa’s biggest indigenous churches especially in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region.
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“The ATM recognizes the importance of this spiritual journey to Ekhenana Holy Mountain for the Nazareth Baptist Church. May the pilgrimage be a source of spiritual rejuvenation and a time of reflection for all attendees,” ATM spokesperson Zama Ntshona said.
Ntshona said the Shembe pilgrimage was a unique expression of faith and hope at the beginning of a new year.
“This pilgrimage, steeped in tradition and spirituality, holds immense significance for the members of the Nazareth Baptist Church, and we wish them a journey filled with blessings, enlightenment, and divine connection,” Ntshona said.
On social media videos of pilgrims beginning their walk to the holy mountain could be seen with believers chanting and singing psalms there were a number of notable South African leaders who were part of this church.
Despite past leadership and factional battles within the church the ATM congratulated the leadership of the church for leading the second largest African indigenous church in South Africa.
The battle for control of the Shembe Church‚ which has caused the split into four factions over the years‚ is said to be over the control of its assets‚ which are worth millions.
“Furthermore, the African Transformation Movement would like to shine a light on the esteemed leader of the Nazareth Baptist Church, Inkosi uNyazi LweZulu. We commend his outstanding leadership and the remarkable impact he has had on the community,” Ntshona said.