Places of worship

An Indian temple in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal
An Indian temple in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal

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 their affiliated groups  such as Methodist, Congregationalist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Adventist, and Dutch Reformed or Nederlandse Gereformeerde.

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 Orthodox branches, such as the Greek Orthodox Church, 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 meetings at riversides or in open fields, as their places of worship are connected to natural areas.

Some South African places of worship are also revered for their historical significance. This includes Soweto's Regina Mundi Catholic Church, which sheltered anti-apartheid activists during the freedom struggle, and the Anglican Church of Christ the King in Sophiatown, where Archbishop Trevor Huddleston took a stand against oppression. 

Other places still are renowned for their spectacular architecture, such as St George's Cathedral with its awesome stained glass windows in Cape Town, and the Mormon Temple in Parktown, Johannesburg, with its 6 spires that light up the night sky. 

Places of worship in South Africa also include several Islamic mosques, Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues and facilities accommodating the Baha'i and Hare Krishna faiths. Bronkhorstspruit, near Pretoria, houses the Nan Hua Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Africa