February 08, 2006
So I had another good chance to come to the capital – Windhoek – without paying any thing and that’s very good, I just saved N$ 120,00 – approximately U$ 25,00 and R$ 60,00 – that some times can be twice that price, because if I didn’t had luck maybe the car can brake and I’ll have to take another hike and, as the smart driver already used the money for the fuel, I’ll not have my money back and this means I would have to pay again for another hike.
So a part from this Namibian reality – that is true, it happened with me – what I also have to bring you today is about the religious scheme that I’ve been working and facing here. Now, looking to the picture, we have, starting from the left on top: the traditional Hereros Holy Fire with his “minister”; on the other side we have the Repentance Mission, which is here for more than 2 years now; under that we have the St. Joshua Star Church, here for more than 10 years; and the last one is the Aruano church, here for more than 50 years.
The Holy Fire represents the tradition, the gift the Hereros gained from God – as one of the counselors of the Aruano church said. The centraal idea of the Holy Fire is that with it you communicate with your ancestors and they will go to God and ask for your demands. The Repentance Church is the “traditional Christian” church, they avoid every other religious perspective different from their own and for them every one out side their spiritual boundaries need to repent before God. The St. Joshua Star Church is better known as the clapping and the healing church, they work with basically prophesy, they accept the others churches just as Christians as they are and they also accept and use the Holy Fires. The last one, the Aruano Church, is known as a church just for Hereros. These churches exists for 56 years and they came from the Lutheran Church where they were until their protest complaining about their money sent to help the poor Europeans – while they them selves were full of poor people – and also because the leaders from the former church did not accepted the Hereros Fire. So today they follow the Lutheran practices with some changes.
So, on these very fast words we have four religious representations, three of them I’m considering as churches, as social acts – the Repentance, the St. Joshua and the Aruano – and as they all call them selves as Christians we can say we have two religions, the first one with these Christians church and the other one, completing the fourth religious representation, is the Holy Fire tradition. These are the options people have here, but not always these options will be refutable options like it is if you go to the Repentance Church, because the others three representations, work very well with mix, they know, for example on the others two Christians churches, that if their prayers and sacrifices can’t help, the Holy Fire is a good option.
Now, going to the Holy Fire being used for the other churches. On the Aruano church if you go there sick asking to be healed, they will just pray for you and probably sent you to your house to talk with your owns so they can take you to the Holy Fire. When it comes to the St. Joshua they will first look at you and then, the spirit of prophesy (some times it comes just with the prophet eye look or some time the prophet will give you the bible so you can opening and the prophet will interpret it for you) will show you what to do, if you need to do sacrifices, if you need to take some mysterious medicine – and I say mysterious because for sure it is, there is no specific magic for that or that problem, I tried to get it from the Bishop but he just said all depends on what will be reveled to the prophet on that moment – or maybe if you need to go to the Holy Fire because maybe your parents are missing you. It’s important to say that the Holy Fire is not social act; it’s individual on its use, just the “old papa” and his wife – when the former is not there – can “manipulate” it. It’s also nuclear, divided in families, each one has its one, and it’s useless to go to another family Holy Fire because that ancestors you not know you, the Holy Fire saints – the ancestors – are extremely particular, nuclear and nationals, some one who is not Herero can’t have it.
So, this is the religious non homogeneous reality I have here, these were just some very few words about it and if maybe it seems messy is because for sure it is.
Posted by josue at 01:09 AM