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Johane Marange Apostolic Church, church or cult? A must watch video!

Times are changing so, the best way to go is adapt with the change. Our grandfather’s way of life might not be applicable now. The Johane Marange Apostolic Church is a religion that has been passed from generation to generation but, does their belief system work today?

The women

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a woman is, ‘an adult female human being’. A girl of 14 can not possibly be called a woman, but the Marange Apostolic Church calls girls as young as 9 years, women ‘madzimai‘. Surely, there should be a law against this! Since little girls are referred to as women in this church, they are being married off before they are 18 years old. This promotes illiteracy among the female members of the church as most girls leave school at primary school level because they’re already married by 16.

This video was shared by a friend in Zimbabwe. I do not have any rights to the video. I just believe that it sheds a lot of light on this religion and hence the reason for sharing.

According to the documentary, women are just nothing but sex objects and cheap, or is it free labour? Why do I keep calling them women, they’re girls. Girls who are ignorant to the fact that they are being abused.

This practice has been going on for more than a century but, it has to stop now. The humanitarian lawyers need to investigate what is happening in this religion.


Recently, a 14 year old girl died while giving birth at a shrine. Yes, a shrine. They are not allowed to visit clinics and hospitals, they’re not allowed to use family planning methods. If the government of Zimbabwe did their job, this church would be shut down because of gross human rights violations. Is it a church, or a cult?

How do you define a “cult”?

ICSA, a cultic studies research and educational nonprofit organization, published this definition accepted by many researchers:

Cult: A group or movement exhibiting:
great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and
employing unethical manipulative or coercive techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgement, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it),
designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders,
to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.

Excerpted from Cultic Studies Journal, 3, (1986): 119-120.
One of the members of the church

If it’s about polygamy, why not marry girls from 18 years and above? Why are little girls being married before they become women? Why does a 28 year old man find pleasure in being intimate with a child of 11 years old.


Many are speculating that because these people are many their large numbers help in winning votes for the ruling party. They’re naive and ignorant, so they keep voting for the ruling party. This is the reason why the government is silent and indirectly allowing the rape of minors. If this is not true, then the president and all of ZANU PF political goons should prove themselves by standing up against the inhumane practices of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church.

They multiply but, are they fruitful? Their favourite verse is, ‘be fruitful and multiply’. Being fruitful is not all about giving birth. They should be fruitful in every area of their lives. Yet they live in poverty but continue to give birth.

OK, let me put it this way….a child under the age of 12 can absolutely not consent to sex. So any sex with her is rape. A child between the ages of 12 and 16; – if they “consent” to sex such consent is taken as uninformed consent and therefore the man/or woman is charged with offence of having sexual intercourse with a minor. Yes it is defined as “extra-marital” sexual intercourse with a minor. This unfortunately suggests that a minor girl is deemed by the law to be capable of marrying at that age. So obviously if a guy predator is charged with such an offence it may be a full defence to say he was married to the minor. Unfortunately, again, this applies to girls only as in terms of our law no Male may marry until he is at least 18. Now the new Constitution has stated clearly that everyone under the age of 18 is a child. This means that when the Constitutional provision is activated across all our laws those provisions of our marriage laws that allow for children to marry will be rendered unconstitutional and unlawful.

The Marriages Act in Zimbabwe provides that a male person has to be at least 18 to get married. A female has to be at least 16. Only safeguard is that in the case of a 16 year old you need the Minister’s consent. Regarding customary marriages the fact that what is criminalised is “extra marital sexual intercourse” with a minor can be interpreted to mean that if the sex is “marital” then it is lawful. So clearly the only girl with full protection is the one who is 11 years and 364 days old and below.
The elephant in the room is that the Zimbabwean government is taking too long to align our laws to our beautiful new constitution. It matters little that the constitution is s good one if we do not align existing laws to it
In our law a young person under the age of 12 can absolutely not consent to sexual intercourse. As such any sexual intercourse with her is rape. A child above 12 yrs but below 14 years is also deemed to be incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse unless there is evidence, provided by the perpetrator, that that particular child was capable of consenting and did consent.

Sorry for the mouthful!

Crispen James Mberewere

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.


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