Simon Kimbangu

(c. 1889—1951)

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Church founder. A member of the Baptist Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he was baptized in 1915. After experiencing a visionary calling in Kinshasa, he returned to his village home at Nkamba; here his healing ministry drew vast crowds. He was arrested on a charge of sedition and sentenced to death (commuted to life imprisonment). Many of his followers were arrested and taken to other parts of the Congo; his movement continued underground until the 1950s when a legal Church (Église de Jésus-Christ sur la Terre par le prophète Simon Kimbangu) was established. It claims some millions of members and was admitted to the World Council of Churches in 1969.

Subjects: Christianity — African Studies.

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