African initiated churches, pivotal in peace-building a case of the Johane Masowe Chishanu
Banda, Richard Gamuchirai
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Western culture and ideology have indoctrinated Africans into believing that the West provides the best solutions for any crisis. Africa, a haven for some of the most threatening and destructive conflicts, Zimbabwe included, has failed to realize the power and wisdom of Africans toward solutions and nurturing peace and development. There is an African Initiated Church called Johane Masowe Chishanu (JMC), founded in Salisbury in 1931, which has prescribed, developed, and nurtured some of the best peace-making, “peacekeeping,” and peace-building mechanisms for both social and political systems. Some of these prescriptions have laid the foundations for lasting peace, sustainable development, and constructive dialogue in Africa. This paper discusses some of the JMC practices regarding prophecy, confession, hymns, baptism, marriage, and self-employment that have fostered peace in Zimbabwe. JMC works mainly by instilling fear, threatening to foretell secrets, and identifying every church member as a close relative. It has been established that JMC has played an invaluable role in building peace socially, politically, and economically.