As Christians around the country prepare to observe Easter, the spectre of unscrupulous church leaders has cast a shadow over the period. Every year, various churches, Catholic and Protestant and their daughter churches, commemorate the holiest days on the Christian calendar — the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The biggest religious event in Southern Africa is that of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), an African independent Pentecostal church founded in 1924, which has the biggest following in this region. Each Easter, thousands of buses transport at least a fifth of its now nearly 6-million adult members on a pilgrimage to the ZCC sanctum in Moria, outside Polokwane. Dressed in their distinctive khaki, blue and green attire, they worship, sing and perform the famous Mokhukhu dance, whipping up the red Limpopo soil around them. However, this year Easter weekend is overshadowed by recent scandals that have turned the church landscape upside down, resulting in debates ab...

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