Tag Archives: religion

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George
Cape Town has a pretty large Greek community - in fact, I'd have to take a guess and say that most corner cafes are owned by Greeks... which is probably a good thing - corner cafes seem to be one of the more difficult businesses to keep afloat and the Greeks seem to have it pretty well nailed.

Plans to build this cathedral, in Woodstock, commenced in about 1901 and the building was eventually constructed between 1903 and 1904 at a cost of a mere 2200 GBP. What a bargain hey? ;)

Religion in South Africa

Gold Thai statue
I can't work out if this is a Buddhist or Hindu statue. I've seen similar statues referred to as Thai Angles and others as Buddhist goddesses. Do you perhaps know anything about this statue - if so, please leave a message below. :)

According to the latest census information that I'm able to find, South Africans are divided into the following religious camps: Christian 79.8%, No Religion 15.1%, Undetermined 15,1%, Islam 1.5%, Hinduism 1,2%, Other 0.6%, African Traditional Religion 0.3%, and Judaism 0.2%. What you may find interesting about these stats is that Traditional African Religion makes up such a tiny percentage of the spread in an overwhelmingly black African country.

The reality about these stats are that within the Christian belief category you’ll find a huge diversity in what people actually believe. You may expect all people who say that they’re Christian to be Catholic, or protestant – but that’s not quite as clear-cut as that. Many people will call themselves Christian because they we’re once Christened, and many others (specifically black South Africans, I guess) may have the core Christian belief, but still participate in traditional tribal religious ritual that the traditional Baptists or Catholics among us may find highly questionable.

An old family Bible

A family Bible
I know that it doesn't look that way from the photo, but this Bible is HUGE - measuring about 150mm thick! Imagine carrying this under your arm to church. :D

It may be of interest to you to know that it's an illustrated Bible and dictionary, that appears to have been printed in the USA in the late 1800s. Besides containing a family tree that documents a few generation's of our family's births and deaths the book also illustrates many of the Bible stories in full colour - you know, with those typical Biblical drawings (source).

It's quite the family heirloom, don't you think? Fortunately, unlike Cain and Abel, my older brother and I won't be fighting over this one. :)

St Joseph’s Marist College, the reprise

Catholic Chapel

My last three photos, and now this one too, were taken at St Joseph's Marist College in Rondebosch. This photo is of the school chapel, the one attached to the bottom of the tower in yesterday's photo. I did some research and turned up a Facebook page called "I went to St. Joesph's [sic] College, Rondebosch".

Visit the page and read the Basic Info section, and then click through to the Wall - it's terribly entertaining and will give you some insight into what life must have been like at the college. I guess it may also cause you to realise that almost everywhere, students are the same. :)

In closing, let me share what I found to be the funniest line from the Basic Info section of the page:

" If you were one of the lucky students to attend St. Joesph's Marist College, you would remember a few of these little things, that make the school a legend:
The time a bunch of kids tried to perform and exorcism on the "HAUNTED STATUE" of the Saint!
" :D

I wonder if it's this statue to which the writer refers?

Christianity and perspective

Church tower

According to a 2001 census, 80% of South Africans view themselves as Christian. Of course, what is considered to make one a Christian differs from person to person.

Some South Africans would say that if you go to church every week you're a Christian, while others will attend church only on Christmas Day, and perhaps over Easter. Yet others would claim that going to church means nothing and that it's your belief that makes you a Christian. A large proportion of black South Africans declare themselves Christian even though their Christian beliefs are often a mixture of Western-style Christianity and traditional African culture, beliefs, and ancestral practices.

It seems to me as though this large Christian contingent is quite a mixed bag of variations on Christianity. If you were to dig your hand in to pull out a Christian, each time you did so you may end up with a Christian who believes something vastly different to the previous Christian you pulled out. :D