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Manche Masemola

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WestminsterAbbey-Martyrs

Masemola Statue (center) - Westminster Abbey

Manche Masemola (1913-1928) was a Christian martyr, of the Pedi tribe, lived in Marishane, a small village near Pietersburg, in South Africa. German and then English missionaries had worked in the Transvaal for several decades and by the early twentieth century there was a Pedi Christian minority which was widely viewed with distrust by the remainder of the tribe who still practiced the traditional tribal religion.

She attended classes in preparation for baptism with her cousin Lucia, against the wishes of her parents. When she came home she would be beaten by her parents. Manche found herself saying that she would be baptized in her own blood. Her parents took her to a spirit priest, claiming that she had been bewitched. She was prescribed a traditional remedy, which her parents made her consume by beating her. She died shortly after without having been baptized.[1] Manche's mother denied this and 40 years later was herself baptized. Manche was declared a martyr by the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa) in less than ten years.

She is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.

External links

References

  1. "Manche Masemola timeline." http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/re/3todiefor_man_time.pdf.

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