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Nazarite Church

Nazarite Church (Zulu, ama-Nazaretha) or Shembe's Church. The largest independent movement among the Zulu, later including other peoples. It is named from the biblical Nazirites, and represents an Old Testament form of religion—sabbatarian, and with two main festivals, Tabernacles (see SUKKOT) and the New Year, focused on their holy city Ekuphakameni, near Durban, and their holy mountain Nhlangakazi, 130 km north. The founder, Isaiah Shembe (1870–1935), a black Baptist church member, was a charismatic prophethealer who composed a great corpus of hymns in Zulu.

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Nazarite

Nazarite (năz´ərīt´) [Heb. nazir=consecrated], in the Bible, a man dedicated to God. The Nazarite, after taking a special vow, abstained from intoxicating beverages, never cut his hair, and avoided corpses. An inadvertent breach of these rules called for purificatory rites. His vow was for a fixed term (though it could also be for life), at the end of which he was released. Samuel, the prophet, and Samson were Nazarites. The name is also spelled Nazirite.

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