Easter Pilgrimage Bus Crash Shocks Botswana’s Christian Community - Living Strong Television Network
Easter Pilgrimage Bus Crash Shocks Botswana’s Christian Community

Leaders extend prayers and lament road safety after 45 were killed on the way to Zion Christian Church in South Africa.

Botswana will hold a national memorial service on Thursday for 45 people who died traveling to an Easter event in South Africa. An eight-year-old girl, Lauryn Siako, was the only survivor after a bus bound for Zion Christian Church crashed through barriers and fell 164 feet down a ledge last week.

In the days following the deadly accident, pastors in Botswana have appeared on national television to pray and to comfort the grieving.

“This tragedy calls us to come out of our sleeping moment and be ever praying and declaring the protection of God in any given situation,” said David Seithamo, the head of the Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana. “The nation should gather around to really support those that are grieving at this moment. When they mourn, we should mourn, but they should know that Christ remains our comfort.”

The pilgrims from Botswana were among millions who travel each Easter to Moria, a town in northeast South Africa and the headquarters for Zion Christian Church (ZCC, pronounced zed-c-c), one of the largest African-initiated churches in the region. ZCC has churches across Southern Africa, including Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi.

The church has two branches, ZCC and St. Engenas ZCC. This year marks the 100th anniversary for the latter, and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa attended the celebration event. Though pilgrims also showed up at St. Engenas in 2023, this is the church’s first official pilgrimage event since the pandemic.

Given the number of tourists usually packing the roads over Holy Week, the South African government had previously checked the capacity of drivers and the safety of cars.

Siako told officials the bus was following two cars carrying …

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