Even if it is a serious matter – one could sometimes start reports about the “mission” Kwasizabantu with a joke. For example with this one:
Lydia Dube is visiting heaven again, when she is asked at the gate of Peter: “Tell Lydia, I have heard that the revival on Kwasizabantu is more alive than ever before, is that true? Lydia hesitates for a moment if she should tell the truth, then she answers: “Yes, Peter, right! I can also prove this to you: the number of sinners on Kwasizabantu is decreasing enormously – all those from Europe are already gone”.
That’s how you have to imagine the situation on Kwasizabantu in South Africa: The revival as such is praised in the highest tones – only, it does not exist, on the contrary, it is dead. Qualified specialists with their families leave the mission, a sister of Lydia Dube searches for space, Erlo Stegen’s private secretary has left, the daughter of Kurt and Bärbel Koch is no longer there. The signs of the times are separation. Almost all of KSB’s European branches have also separated.
Just as Lenin busts disappeared from public view in Germany after the end of the Soviet Union or swastikas disappeared after the end of the Second World War, so in Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe the former KSB congregations are endeavouring to make the references to belonging to the Kwasizabantu mission invisible. They are now called “The Church of the Cedar” in France, even though there are numerous references to their relationship to Kwasizabantu on the Internet. The German headquarters of KSB in Schwäbisch-Gmünd-Lindach operates under the name “Freie evangelische Gemeinschaft” (Free Protestant Community), the references to KSB on the site have been carefully erased, the websites are off the Internet, but the traces on the Internet showing the proximity to Kwasizabantu are masses. Only in Romania do they officially raise the flag of Kwasizabantu: Hans Koller, the former priest of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who was also a member of KSB Switzerland and then flew out later, either overslept the development or turned his back on his nominal uncle Friedel: Kwasizabantu Romania is still on the net as part of Kwasizabantu.
The question of the moment is: who is actually separating from whom – and: what does separation actually mean now?
It is said that there is something like a small Gallic village in Berlin that is rehearsing resistance against the course of the German sect leader Georg Grau. At the KSB estate on Hohenzollerndamm, several Berlin KSB goers and a trio from Druwald met with Detlef Stegen and Dietmar Joosten, who had just come over from South Africa. The group wants to continue to be part of the “revival” with Erlo Stegen as the draught horse. What they were led to believe: Erlo Stegen was no longer quite the old man – but he was not demented. Erlo fans stubbornly believe that – just as they believed everything they had been told for decades about miracles, events and resurrections. It’s quite simple, just go to the Internet – and you can see how much Erlo Stegen suffers from dementia and that he can’t possibly still have the leadership of the “mission” in his hands. At the Sunday divine service on January 7, 2018, one and a half years ago, Erlo Stegen is only a shadow of himself, repeating himself constantly, not knowing what he just said, praying the same prayer all the time – a sad picture, the man can hurt you. You can see it at: https://livestream.com/accounts/10578297/events/8004240
In the name of such a sick man, who no longer seems to be in control of his senses, commands are given in Kwasizabantu, money is postponed, meetings are scheduled, people are harassed – the computer supplies Erlo Stegen’s signatures on the corresponding letters.
And yet: despite these failure symptoms, people want to follow Erlo Stegen, although they must know that now a cheater on the “mission” is in charge and abuses the former preacher for her purposes. How is that possible? It is a practice that has been practiced for decades: questioning nothing, rethinking nothing critically, not wanting to know anything. Anyone who lives like this for half a life or a whole life will and must be betrayed.
Back to the question: who is currently separating from whom….
So Berliners and a few Druwalders are separating from the other KSB communities in Europe, in Lindach Andre Joosten’s daughter has announced that she is no longer coming into the community because she prefers to stay with the true revival. She even moves back to South-Afrika with her german husband and children. It seems that KSB Romania is now only an Erlo loner in Europe. Whoever is following whom and whoever is separating from whom – nobody has a complete picture at the moment. But: everywhere there are slogans about perseverance as if there was no point in losing a war.
What does “separation” mean?
Otmar Voser, the chairman of the association Kwasizabantu Switzerland, confirmed the separation of his association from Kwasizabantu even to the idea spectrum. Because there are financial irregularities – so he too is surprised and dismayed and welcomes the investigation of such accusations (this was the first time someone from KSB welcomed the investigation of accusations against KSB). Communication with Kwasizabantu had been stopped, he said.
Well roared, lion, “communication stopped”! That sounds like absolute separation – but the separation is once again a kind of Kwasizabantu lie. There is no real separation. And to that extent everyone could actually continue peacefully with each other if they thought a little further.
To illustrate what it is about: If a communist leaves the communist party – then he is no longer a member of the party, but still a communist. He separates from the organization and its insignia – but he remains what he is. He separates externally – internally not. This is the case with Kwasizabantu and those who separate from it: they remain the same, they just no longer carry the KSB flag. But they follow the same rules, add the same false traits to the Gospel, and omit the same important traits. They have the same program, the same songs, the same rites, nothing will change, everything remains as it is. A real separation is not.
It doesn’t help if (most) Europeans renounce Kwasizabantu because of Lydia Dube and her machinations. And that is the problem: Because Lydia Dube, no matter what she is doing, is the fulcrum of the “Mission Kwasizabantu”, the core of the so-called “Revival”, without her this “Revival” would not exist. For decades the Europeans believed the history of the Lydia Dube with death, an encounter with Jesus in heaven and a resurrection. Lydia was highly valued, treated with great respect and reverence. Erlo and Friedel Stegen were for the Europeans demigods, Lydia Dube was because of her special story. But now the ex-KSBlers in the old world would have to ask themselves whether the story of their resurrection is true at all – and above all: how much Lydia Dube is in all the “spiritual food” they have eaten so far. If they part with KSB and Lydia Dube, they would have to ask themselves in which direction they want to steer “spiritually” in the future. Because the direction in which Erlo Stegen and Friedel Stegen drove over decades was largely determined by Lydia Dube and the “Mamas”.
These days a European co-worker has left the mission in South Africa after decades and has drawn the following conclusion: “They wanted to make us Zulus”. This statement makes clear what the followers of Kwasizabantus have enthusiastically absorbed over the years: cultural mixing. The Europeans should have known that they called Erlo Stegen the white Zulu in KwaZulu-Natal. And that Erlo, together with the Zulu Mamas and Lydia Dube, served more and more Zulu culture to the white clientele of Mission Kwasizabantu as spiritual nourishment – and sold it to them as the “Gospel of Revival”. The Europeans, however, who have now allegedly renounced Kwasizabantu so resolutely (by the way, the quarrel began during a visit of European leaders to South Africa in 2018 when they were advised to please transfer the properties of the European KSB congregations to Kwasizabantu). will continue on course Kwasizabantu. They will stick to their rules in the KSB Zulu tracks: women do not wear trousers, children may also be beaten (although people are more careful today than they were a few years ago), marriages are only entered into among people who hardly know each other – and so on. They have separated – and yet remain original Kwasizabantu. Where “Freie evangelische Gemeinschaft” Lindach or Cederborg in Holland or Hof Oberkirch in Switzerland is written on it, there is a lot of Lydia Dube in it. She is present at every sermon, at every “pastoral care”. In everything they do: the culture of Kwasizabantus, a conglomerate of German culture, Voortrekker culture and Zulu culture, lives on in Europe.
There have been attempts to work towards a change in this course – in vain. Especially the leaders in Germany (where Georg Grau now also became leader of Druwald after Peter Töpfer and Klaus Wunderlich were dismissed without further ado), Switzerland and Holland don’t want to know anything about course changes. In church meetings there were isolated voices in favor of it, but the church people remained silent, i.e. rejecting it. Everything should remain as it is.
And yet it does not remain so, and they will notice that. Because even a little separation is separation and that will make itself felt. There is something missing now and that could be decisive for the survival of the “Free Evangelical Community” Lindach and the other ex-KSB churches. In KSB-Africa, where the “Revival” has just landed, one can see in various criminal affairs. So the fascination with “revival” is gone, the fascination with Africa is gone as well. No more holidays in the bush of Natal, no more blessed community in the beautiful hill country. No more pastoral care with the uncle from Kwa Zulu, no more bathing in the Indian Ocean, no more visiting the Game Reserve. Because those who have separated from Kwasizabantu are no longer welcome there – and have to spend their holidays elsewhere. And: No more preachers from Africa who talk about miracle healings and other highlights – the Europeans are now on their own. And dry bread is served there. No one is there who has charisma, no one who can preach in a thrilling way. And nobody who will manage to solve the contradiction why the European churches should live a faith practice that has now so grandiosely led to a dead end in South Africa and brought the mission to failure.
The churches will gradually realize what they are missing now. Sooner or later dissatisfaction and boredom will spread. The preachers are trapped between Zulu cult and gospel, any deviation from the old course can lead to new divisions, but also a lack of adaptation to the gospel in the interpretation of Martin Luther.
The ex-KSBers in Europe are in a classic dilemma.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator