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Any of several prophet-healing groups in southern Africa that arose early in the 20th century from the fusion of African culture with the Christian message brought by U.S. Protestant missionaries. Their common features include: origination from a mandate received by a prophet in a dream or vision; a chieflike leader who is succeeded by his son and who is occasionally regarded as a messiah; healing through confession, repeated baptism, purification rites, and exorcism; revelation and power from the Holy Spirit through prophetic utterances and pentecostal phenomena; Africanized worship characterized by singing, dancing, clapping, and drumming; and repudiation of traditional magic, medicines, divination, and ancestor cults, though these are often replaced with Christianized equivalents.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Zionist church, visit Britannica.com.
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