By Mubanga Lumpa

The Lumpa Church was one of the most famous religious movements in Central Africa which was founded by Alice Lenshina Mulenga who lived in the Chinsali district of Zambia.

The Lumpa Church was built at Kasoma Village called Sion-Zion in 1958 which gradually became an independent church in 1955.

The new Lumpa Church rapidly gained more members than the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland. It had a membership of 150 000 members in the northern and eastern provinces of Northern Rhodesia.

However, during the struggle for political independence in the 1960s, Lenshina and the Lumpa Church openly challenged UNIP in the involvement of its members in the political struggle and mobilization.

This resulted in the decline of UNIP membership. UNIP therefore saw the Lumpa Church as a rival and threat to their political survival. Violent conflicts between the two groups started.

The UNIP members burnt houses of Lenshina’s followers.

In return, Lenshina followers fought back and there were many deaths as the Lumpa Church burnt UNIP cadres’ houses and fought the UNIP activists.

Alice Lenshina was arrested and the Lumpa Church banned. She died in 1978.



  1. The title should have been THE RISE AND FALL of the Lumpa church, it is however inconceivable to guess the purpose of the article.


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