Places of worship in South Africa span the world's major religions
With freedom of religion enshrined in our constitution, places of worship in South Africa span all the world's major religions, and some lesser ones too.
Christianity is represented by most of the Western mainstream denominational families - Catholicism, Anglicanism and Protestantism, along with its affiliated groups such as Methodists, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Adventists and Dutch Reformed or Nederlandse Gereformeerde , which is well-patronised by the Afrikaans community.
Some more recent charismatic and Pentecostal additions, such as the high-profile Rhema Church, the Apostolic Faith Mission and the Assemblies of God, are also found in the country. Smaller groups of Eastern Orthodoxy branches, such as Greek Orthodox, also offer places of worship around South Africa.
By far the vast majority of South Africans belong to African Independent Churches which combine traditional ancestor belief with Christianity. The Zion Christian Church is the largest of them. Over weekends you may see groups of African Independent Church worshippers in green, blue or white robes, holding prayer meeting at riversides, or in open fields - their places of worship are natural.
Some South African places of worship are renowned for historical roles, such as Soweto's Regina Mundi Catholic Church which sheltered anti-apartheid activists during the freedom struggle, or the Anglican Church of Christ the King in Sophiatown, where Archbishop Trevor Huddleston took a stand against oppression.
Some of them are famed for spectacular architecture, such as St George's Cathedral with its stained glass in The Gardens in Cape Town, or the more recently-built Mormon Temple in Parktown, Johannesburg, with its 6 spires that lighting up the night skies.
The country has Islamic mosques, Hindu temples and Jewish synagogues. In Bronkhorstspruit, near Pretoria, is the largest Buddhist temple in Africa, the Nan Hua Temple, established by a Taiwanese order. Places of worship around South Africa include facilities for the Baha'i and Hare Krishna faiths.