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Marian cult in violent clash with police in Burundi

March 12, 2013

In Burundi, at least 6 people were killed and 35 wounded in a violent confrontation between police and followers of a Marian cult.

The violence broke out when police blocked a pilgrimage by followers of Zebiya Ngendakumana, a young woman who has claimed regular visions of the Virgin Mary. The ‘Zebiya’ cult has been denounced by the government as a threat to public order.

Police said that members of the cult attacked them with stones. Spokesmen for the group deny that charge, saying that they were gathering for peaceful prayer. Scores of members were arrested.

Zebiya Ngendakumana says that she receives visions of the Virgin Mary on the 12th day of every month. Although her followers are predominantly Catholic, the cult has been at odds with the hierarchy in the mostly Catholic African country.


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