This story was first published in The Patriot of April 10 2017  

By Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki

THE celebration of Easter is the most prominent event on the Western Christian calendar.

Most of those who were raised in Western Christian Church mission schools grew up chanting the various songs and prayers associated with this annual event.

Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter Day, remember!

Easter is at the heart of the Christian religion as practised today.

In Zimbabwe, as in many other countries in which Western Christianity rules, the whole country literally stops working and goes for Easter holidays.

White settler-governments designated Easter a national holiday throughout the 90 odd years of colonial rule.

Post-independence African governments have left the Easter festival intact. 

All firms shut their factory doors and send their workers for Easter holidays.

Zimbabwe is labelled a Christian country and the Easter festival is a prominent religious event which presumably attests to this designation.

But to what extent do ordinary Zimbabweans across the length and breadth of this beautiful land embrace Easter as a Christian festival? 

Is observance of the Easter holidays testimony that Zimbabwe is a Christian country?

A search on the internet yields very interesting results.

While searching for *easter+Christian+traditions*, I unearthed a large volume of information pointing to the fact that Easter may not after all be as Christian as some would want us to believe.

Easter, we learn, is not synonymous with ‘Pascha’ or ‘Passover’ which are Jewish festivals.

Indications are that Easter is loaded with numerous pagan rites and practices of non-Christian origin. 

These include the Easter egg and the Easter bunny which relate to the rabbit.

Some Christian authorities have argued that ‘eggs and rabbits demean the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection’.

The custom of Easter eggs is said to be an ancient one from Mesopotamia, dating back centuries before Christ!

The Easter bunny in the US was introduced by immigrants who came from Germany.

They brought stories of egg-laying hares, hence the custom of Easter eggs and bunny rabbits.

The rabbit also happens to be an ancient pagan symbol of fertility or new life.

The Easter parades belong to ancient traditions dating back centuries before Jesus was born.

Easter candy is also a modern tradition.

The Easter festival is linked to the Old Testament characters Nimrod and his wife Semiramis who were known to worship various gods.

Thus the Roman Catholic Church practice of Easter is linked to idolatrous worshipping of different gods.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by its symbolism.

But Passover predates Easter and yet similar or identical words are often used for Easter and Passover.

This makes Easter a ‘cut and paste’ festival of pagan origin, stolen and adapted by Christians as their own.

While in Western Christianity Easter holidays last seven weeks, finishing on the 50th day, in eastern Christianity, Easter lasts 40 days.

It has no fixed dates.

The name ‘Easter’ is said to come from the goddess associated with the spring called ‘Eostre’ in the Anglo-Saxon language and ‘Ostern’ in German. 

The god ‘Estre’ was worshipped in spring by pagans in north Europe and the British Isles.

One will note that in Europe, it is now spring time and here comes Easter!

Practising the Easter festival mixes the worship of false gods with the worship of the ‘true’ God.

The dates set for Easter follow those of pagan feasts which predate the birth of Jesus by thousands of years.

During the reign of Constantine, the Roman Emperor, those who chose to ‘follow the blindness of Jews’ by keeping Biblical festivals were systematically persecuted by powerful Church-State alliances.

In other words, the power of the Empire was used to enhance Easter, a pagan festival, as Christianity’s most popular sacred celebration;

arguably the most popular religious celebration in the world, but is Easter biblical?

The answer is an emphatic No!

Perusal of available literature shows why.

The word ‘Easter’ is mentioned only once in the King James Version of the Bible.

And scholars say this arose due to a mistranslation of the Greek word for ‘Passover’ as ‘Easter’.

So, from the literature available on the internet, Easter is not from the Bible and was never practised by the Apostles or the early Church.

It is nowhere in the Bible, not in the Acts of the Apostles nor in the Epistles!

Easter is part of the pagan religious practices that God condemns!

W.E. Vine (1985) argues: “Easter was introduced into Western Christianity as part of attempts to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.”

As such, it is not Christian.

It appears that Christians, as a strategy to persuade people of pagan religions to convert to Christianity, adopted and adapted the pagan festivals onto the Christian calendar.

The pagan religious rites and practices were relabelled as Christianity. The result was the creation of teachings and customs that were very different from those that Jesus Christ preached.

In support of the above argument, one writer has quoted the words of Jesus in Mathew 15:9 where he says:

“In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.”

Given the overwhelming evidence outlined above to show up Easter as a pagan, non-Christian festival, where does that leave Africans and their demonised ‘pagan’ traditional religious practices?

One cannot help feel that Western Christianity has been selling Africa a dummy!

Africans have been forced to abandon their traditional religious practices which Western Christianity condemns as ‘pagan’.

And yet lo and behold! 

Western Christianity’s holiest festival is essentially pagan!

Easter is a ‘cut and paste’ motley of religious rites and practices from ancient times, predating the birth of Jesus by thousands of years! 

This pagan (primitive) festival has been sanitised by embellishing it with stories of the death and resurrection of Jesus!

As was the case for native peoples who came under the rule of the Roman Empire, the whiteman’s African empire has also imposed the pagan festival on the indigenes of our beautiful continent.

In the process, we have been forced to abandon our true African religions which link us directly to Musikavanhu, the Creator, through our ancestral line.

Fortunately for us, while thousands do indeed flock to churches and other celebration centres, many African families take Easter as a welcome holiday that provides relief from school and formal employment, allowing them to visit friends and relatives.

Important business transactions over the Easter holidays include conducting African traditional ceremonies and religious rites.

These important activities include wedding ceremonies, paying lobola/‘kunoroora’, ‘kurova guva/bira/umbuyiso’, consulting traditional healers, settling family disputes and other mundane undertakings critical to the smooth running of families and communities.

As we have argued before, Christianity is the strongest colonial shackle over African minds, preventing them from linking with their Creator and charting their own destiny.

Easter, a key central festival for Christians, turns out to be a mixed bag of pagan religious rites.

It is now so secularised and commercialised as to be a huge money-spinning Christian hoax wholly devoted to serving mammon, not God!

The Africans are literally caught in the crossfire, while the Christians make money!

Who then have lost their way to the Creator?

Certainly not the Africans but Western Christianity peddling paganism as Christianity!

Those with ears let them hear!


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