• Short Summary

    DAHOMEY'S SEME BEACH HAS BECOME OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS THE ANNUAL RENDEZ-VOUS OF THOUSANDS OF 'HEAVENLY CHRISTIANS', MEMBERS OF A RELIGIOUS SECT WHO ON DECEMBER 24 GATHERED TO CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS.

  • Description

    DAHOMEY'S SEME BEACH HAS BECOME OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS THE ANNUAL RENDEZ-VOUS OF THOUSANDS OF 'HEAVENLY CHRISTIANS', MEMBERS OF A RELIGIOUS SECT WHO ON DECEMBER 24 GATHERED TO CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS.

    THE SECT WAS FOUNDED IN 1947 BY FATHER SAMUEL OSCHOFFA. ITS MEMBERS ARE DRAWN FROM EVERY ASPECT OF RELIGION -- ROMAN CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT, MOSLEM -- AND THEY LOOK TO FATHER OSCHOFFA AS MOUTHPIECE OF THEIR BELIEFS.

    FATHER OSCHOFFA WAS BORN OF A PROTESTANT FAMILY, AND FOLLOWED THE TRADE OF JOINER IN HIS YOUTH. HE BUILDS HIS RELIGION AROUND A VISION SEEN ONE DAY IN HIS TIMBER-YARD, ACCOMPANIED BY A VOICE REPEATING THE WORD 'LULI', WHICH MEANS 'BLESSING'. OPENING HIS EYES, HE SAW A WINGED MONKEY, A PEACOCK WITH A YELLOW BEAK AND YELLOW FEET, AND A GIANT SERPENT. THE MONKEY REPEATED THE WORD AGAIN BEFORE DISAPPEARING, WITH HIS COMPANIONS, INTO THE FOREST. FROM THIS DAY FORTH FATHER OSCHOFFA BECAME AN EVANGELIST, AN ORACLE, A FAITH-HEALER, AND A LEADER OF MEN.

    EACH YEAR ABOUT 10,000 BELIEVERS COME FROM BOTH TOGO AND NIGERIA TO JOIN DAHOMEY'S HEAVENLY CHRISTIANS IN WORSHIP. THE CEREMONY INVOLVES LYING ALL DAY AND NIGHT ON THE SAND, PROTECTED BY A TRIANGLE OF CANDLES, AND IMPLORING THE DIVINE PARDON. MANY FAMILIES BRING THEIR SICK IN THE HOPE THEY WILL BE RESTORED TO HEALTH.

    ON THE BEACH AND UNDER THE COCONUT PALMS. THEIR IS AN AIR OF EASE AND FESTIVITY. THE FESTIVAL ENDS WITH THE BLESSING OF THE FRUITS, THE CANDLES, AND THE BEAUTY PRODUCTS WHICH WILL SERVE THE FAITHFUL UNTIL CHRISTMAS 1968.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEL0IIEIMMAWPI47RAJ9ZN31F1
    Media URN:
    VLVAEL0IIEIMMAWPI47RAJ9ZN31F1
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/12/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:00:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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