South Africa


Good Friday – Annual ritual of prayer and cleansing takes place on the Klip River in Ekurhuleni

Good Friday – Annual ritual of prayer and cleansing takes place on the Klip River in Ekurhuleni
A Zion Apostolic member is held up after being dipped in the Klip River, 7 March 2023. Each baptism takes between five and 10 minutes, depending on how fearful the member is of the water. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Various churches gathered on the holy day of Good Friday to baptise their congregants. Baptism signifies a deep spiritual cleansing and many churches choose to baptise on the day they believe that Jesus died on the cross.


Church members of uKukhanya kuka Jehova Church in Mngadi Katlehong pray before their baptism service at the Klip River bridge in Ekurhuleni, 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

A congregate of uKukhanya kuka Jehova Church walks in her all-white church uniform to join the prayers before baptism. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Morian Africa Church members huddle together to light candles for prayers under the Klip River bridge. Various churches use the holy day of Good Friday for this spiritual cleansing ceremony. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Bishop Vukani Ndlela and Bishop Thembinkosi Makhathini of the uKukhanya kuka Jehova Church say prayers before baptising their congregants. They held hands and dipped themselves under water before calling each congregant one by one. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Siboniso Mdaka of the Morian Africa Church baptised by bishops and assisted by other church members. The dipping is a very emotional experience to witness and as one bishop said it also signifies washing away people’s sins and is also a way of welcoming some members into the church. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Bishops of the Morian Africa Church in Katlehong hit the water with sticks to evoke the spirit during the baptism. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

A church member of the uKukhanya kuka Jehova Church in Mngadi Katlehong spits out water after being dipped in the Klip RIver. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

A Morian Africa Church member reaching to the sky after being baptised. People came out of the water visibly emotional and touched by the experience. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

A congregation gathers at the end of their baptism ceremony to pray in the water after the cleansing ceremony. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)


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