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'Hawks and Doves': The Impact of Operation Murambatsvina on Johane Marange Apostolic Church in Zimbabwe

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The paper discusses the socio-economic and religious impact of Operation Murambatsvina on Johane Marange Apostolic Church in Masvingo, a city and Zvishavane, a mining town. It adopts a comparative approach in order to demonstrate the extent to which this phenomenon impacted on the religious and socio-economic activities of this movement in the two urban centres. While the majority of the church members were negatively affected, there are some who unintentionally benefited from this operation. The church was threatened numerically and theologically as some members were forced to translocate to rural areas. It is argued that in spite of the continued disruptions by the government and municipal authorities, the Vapositori of Marange continue to operate their informal business and missionary activities without necessarily compromising their traditions. The paper uses the 'hawks and doves' metaphor to demonstrate the relationship between the marauding government and municipal police and the vulnerable Vapositori during and in the post-Murambatsvina era.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in World Religions and Science of Religion, Department of Humanities, Great Zimbabwe University, University of Zimbabwe; 2: Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Department of humanities, Great Zimbabwe University, University of Zimbabwe; 3: Lecturer in Church History and African Theology, Department of Humanities, Great Zimbabwe University, University of Zimbabwe


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