Thousands of followers of the Apostolic church in Zimbabwe Rhodesia gathered near the capital of Salisbury recently for the seventeen-day annual celebration which marks the highlight of the church calender.
GV Apostolics gathered for service
MV Prayer leader moving through crowds and leading them in worship
CU PULL OUT TO SV Followers gathered at service
LV Women followers
CU Women chanting in crowd
MV Church elders
MV Crowd watching throughout baptism ceremony
MV Elders on river bank
LV Small child is baptised and then passed to elders who embrace child
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Background: Thousands of followers of the Apostolic church in Zimbabwe Rhodesia gathered near the capital of Salisbury recently for the seventeen-day annual celebration which marks the highlight of the church calender.
SYNOPSIS: Over thirty thousand people travelled to the black township of Mufakose for the religious festival. The Apostolic church is one of the earliest forms of Christianity. Leaders of the sect claim over half of the country's six million blacks are members. Mass prayer is accompanied by rhythmic chanting.
Many of the worshippers bring staves to the prayer sessions like their shepherd and leader, Jesus Christ. Members wear dress -- long robes, often red and white.
At various times of the day the Apostolics gather facing the east chanting and singing their prayers.
The passover also gives church elders a chance to gather and plan the further development of the sect which was founded in 1932.
The most spectacular of the apostolic rites in 'Jordani' or baptism of new members. Mass baptisms were held before large crowds on the banks of a small river near the Mufakose township.
Young and old alike get a thorough if somewhat unceremonious ducking. New members then leave the water from the opposite bank where church elders are waiting to kiss them -- again three times -- and so officially welcome them into the sect.