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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Alice Lenshina's Anti-Witchcraft Church
Author:Greschat, Hans-JürgenISNI
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia: Sonderheft
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:African Independent Churches
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Cultural Roles
Abstract:Alice Lenshina's Lumpa Church was banned by the prime minister, Kenneth Kaunda, on 3 August 1964, on the eve of Zambia's independence. The immediate reason appears to have been politics. Despite pressure from Kaunda, the prophetess had taught her followers not to take part in politics or to vote in the general elections, which Kaunda's United National Independence Party (UNIP) won. According to Bemba texts of hymns collected from Lumpa followers and published in 1960 by Père Louis Oger the Lumpa was a Christian church. It was puritan. Some of its laws went against African custom, said to be 'pagan', and against pleasure-seeking Christians of other denominations. However, Alice Lenshina's arch foes were the sorcerers, 'baloshi'. While the customary way to deal with sorcers and witches is to punish them outright, Alice Lenshina told the evil doers to cast away all their 'fetishes' and to 'walk over the line', after which she gave them Christian protection in exchange for the witchcraft they had just renounced. In the face of the overwhelming presence of evil, Alice Lenshina took up the role of redeemer. Notes, ref.