News Release

Three Events Unite Faiths Together in KwaZulu-Natal

These interfaith events were held as a way of reaching out in friendship and harmony between various religious organizations.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 11th Article of Faith states,  “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” As basic religious freedoms are becoming more and more threatened, it is beneficial for different faiths to reach out in friendship one to another.  Working together in harmony, they are able to foster greater understanding and promote religious freedom for all people.  

Three recent events in KwaZulu-Natal brought together members from various South African churches with members of the LDS Church. While in Durban, Clark Hirschi, International Public Affairs Director, Sean Donnelly, Southeast Africa Area Public Affairs Director, and Bishop Graham Sabela of Pinetown Ward, took the opportunity to attend a religious service of the Nazareth Church.  The visit was arranged by Bonga Mpanza, Station Manager at Ukhozi FM, a member of the congregation.  In 2014, Mr. Mpanza travelled to Salt Lake City where he participated in both cultural and religious events in the Utah area. Brother Hirschi, Brother Donnelly, and Bishop Sabela were grateful for the opportunity to observe the ceremonial dancing and religious instructions.  Brother Donnelly said, “Sharing information about ones practices or beliefs can benefit both faiths in fostering greater understanding.”

On Sunday, while attending an informal luncheon at the home of President John Zackrison and Sister Dorothy Zackrison, guests from Ukhozi FM and members of the LDS church were blessed with three acapella numbers performed by Phindi and Thabi Ngema from the Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa located in Umlazi.  The mother-daughter duet are members of their congregational choir. Mrs. Ngema said she has had music in her life from the time of a small child, and Thabi toured with a musical choir during college. Their music enriched the lives of all who were present. 

Later in March, senior missionary couples, Elder and Sister Rowberry and Elder and Sister Cinquini,  along with Sister Zanele Hlongwane, attended a ministers conference at the beautiful Kwasizabantu Mission located 50K from Stanger.  The conference was attended by nearly 2000 ministers from 29 countries around the world.  The theme for the conference was “Lord Abide With Us”.  Elder Cinquini commented, “What a wonderful experience it was to meet so many ministers who are blessing people’s lives in their congregations.  These men and women give a life of service to God and to others.”

Establishing relationships with other faiths is essential to building stronger communities, united by their common beliefs.  Through cooperative efforts of different faiths, community values are strengthened, suffering can be relieved, and hope can be given to those in need.

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