On Easter Sunday, more than 800 couples exchanged vows in one of the largest mass wedding ceremonies in South Africa since the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the International Pentecost Holiness Church, certain African communities practice polygamy, which is permitted by the Bible.
It holds mass weddings three times a year. At Easter, in December, and in September during the church’s anniversary of its founding in 1962.
Lebogile Mamatela, 38, a government employee married her child’s father as the second wife on Sunday. Stated following the ceremony: “It’s a fantastic day, and I am ecstatic. I am beyond appreciative to finally feel like a member of the Mahluku clan. It’s an incredible sensation.”
The event took place 100 kilometers north of Johannesburg at the Jerusalem congregation of the International Pentecost Holiness Church. Was attended by spouses costumed in vibrant hues. First-time newlyweds typically wore traditional white wedding garments.
The festivities were a respite from a lengthy dispute over the leadership of the church. Which has approximately three million members and is one of South Africa’s largest congregations.
In 2016, following the demise of church leader Glayton Modise, three brothers began a conflict to determine who would succeed him.
In 2020, five people were killed in another church massacre, but the case against the 42 suspects was dismissed a year ago.
Sunday’s event was conducted in a secure location with armed security and metal detectors to screen attendees.