Christianity in Eswatini

Discovering Christianity in Eswatini: A Journey Through its History, Traditions, and Influence

Welcome to this exploration of Christianity in Eswatini, a small but vibrant country in southern Africa. As Christians, we are called to reach across the globe and learn from our brothers and sisters in faith, and understanding the religious landscape of Eswatini is an essential piece of that journey.

Christianity in Eswatini

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of Christianity in Eswatini, explore the major denominations represented there, and examine the unique practices and traditions that have arisen in this context. We’ll also look at the ways that Christianity has influenced the culture and society of Eswatini.

Whether you’re a seasoned missionary, a curious student of theology, or simply looking to expand your understanding of Christianity in the world, this article is for you. So read on to learn more about this fascinating corner of the global Christian community.

An Introduction to Eswatini and Its Religious Landscape

Eswatini, also known as Swaziland, is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa that boasts a rich cultural and religious history. While traditional ancestral beliefs are still prevalent in the country, Christianity has become the dominant religion.

The arrival of European missionaries brought about the introduction of Christianity to Eswatini. Today, over 90% of the population identifies as Christian with various denominations including Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Methodist being among them.

Despite its relatively small size compared to other African countries with high Christian populations like Nigeria or Ethiopia; Eswatini’s religious landscape is diverse yet harmonious. Christians coexist peacefully alongside those who practice traditional African religions.

This peaceful coexistence can be attributed to King Mswati III’s philosophy called “Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force,” which emphasizes unity and respect for all cultures and traditions within his kingdom.

Christianity has influenced many aspects of life in Eswatini including education, healthcare services provision among others as most schools are church-owned institutions while hospitals collaborate closely with churches to provide healthcare services across different regions within Eswatini

As we learn more about different parts of our planet it gives us an opportunity not only know our brothers but also appreciate their culture through understanding their faith practices such as what we have seen today from one part on Southern Africa where despite differences they live together unitedly following King Mwasiti’s vision

The History of Christianity in Eswatini

The history of Christianity in Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a fascinating tale of faith and perseverance. Despite facing significant challenges and obstacles, Christian missionaries were instrumental in spreading the gospel throughout the country.

In 1871, David Livingstone became the first European to set foot in what is now Eswatini. However, it wasn’t until decades later that Christian missionaries began to establish a presence in the country.

One of the earliest missions was founded by Swedish missionary Axel Eriksson. He arrived in Eswatini in 1890 and established a mission station at Malolotja. From there he began preaching Christianity to both Swazi people and European settlers.

Over time more missionaries arrived from various denominations including Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches among others. These men and women worked tirelessly to spread their message across rural areas where traditional beliefs still held sway.

Despite facing resistance from some quarters due to cultural differences between Christianity’s teachings versus local customs – such as polygamy- they persevered with their work often undertaking medical care for locals too which helped build trust towards them over time

Today Christians make up around 90% of Eswatini’s population with many different denominations represented across its communities; showing how far this religion has come since its early days on African soil where it was embraced by so many who found refuge within its teachings during difficult times

Major Christian denominations in Eswatini

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a small kingdom in southern Africa that boasts a rich and diverse Christian heritage. With over 80% of its population identifying as Christians, it’s no surprise that Christianity plays an important role in the country’s culture and traditions.

The major Christian denominations in Eswatini include the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa and several Pentecostal churches. These denominations have played significant roles in shaping the religious landscape of Eswatini since they were established during colonial times.

The Roman Catholic Church is one such denomination with roots dating back to the arrival of missionaries from Portugal around 1500 AD. Since then it has grown to become one of the largest religious organizations worldwide with millions adherents across continents including Eswatini where it operates many parishes.

Another influential denomination is Anglicanism which arrived through British colonization towards late 19th century. The church has since been active with mission work throughout swazi land having notable impact on education system advancement among others


Methodism came to Eswantin while under South African rule decades ago and today remains widely practiced by Swati people who appreciate its emphasis on social justice issues like gender equality or poverty alleviation programmes centering gospel teachings about compassion for all humanity.

Presbyterianism also reached eswatina via south africa at a later time period than some other christian sects but still maintains presence via various congregations spread across different regions therein.

As we reflect on these major Christian Denominations within this small African nation let us not forget their contribution towards spreading hope love care for God’s creation both locally globally alike Let us continue learning more about our brothers sisters around world so we can better understand how our faith binds us together irrespective differences may exist between respective interpretations thereof

Christian practices and traditions in Eswatini

Christianity in Eswatini is a rich and diverse tapestry of traditions, practices, and beliefs. The country has a long history with Christianity dating back to the arrival of European missionaries in the late 19th century.

Today, Christianity plays an important role in the lives of many Swazi people. Sunday church services are well attended by both young and old alike, where hymns are sung with great enthusiasm accompanied by traditional dance movements.

The Christian community here is marked by its deep respect for tradition while also embracing modernity. This can be seen through their use of contemporary music during worship services or their incorporation of technology into religious education programs.

One unique feature found among Christians in Eswatini is that they often incorporate local cultural elements into their faith practices. For example, some churches have adopted traditional Swazi attire as part of their formal dress code for worshippers attending Sunday service.

Another fascinating aspect about Christianity in Eswatini is its strong emphasis on communal living and social responsibility. Churches organize numerous community outreach programs such as feeding schemes for the poor or providing shelter to those without homes.

Overall, it’s clear that Christians living within this Southern African nation deeply value their faith traditions while also being open to new ways to express them meaningfully today – all while keeping sight on serving others around them following Jesus’ commandment: “love your neighbour.”

The impact of Christianity on Eswatini’s culture and society

The impact of Christianity on Eswatini’s culture and society has been profound. From the arrival of Christian missionaries in the late 19th century to present day, Christianity has played a significant role in shaping the country’s customs and beliefs.

One notable change that occurred with the spread of Christianity in Eswatini was a shift towards gender equality. Traditional Swazi culture placed men at the top of social hierarchies, but Christian teachings emphasized equality between all individuals as children of God. This resulted in greater opportunities for women to participate in public life and pursue education.

Christianity also brought about changes to traditional religious practices. Many Swazis practiced ancestral worship before converting to Christianity, but this practice was discouraged by missionaries who saw it as idolatry. As a result, many Swazis abandoned their traditional beliefs and adopted Christian ones instead.

However, some cultural practices were able to coexist with Christianity without conflict or contradiction. For example, dance is an important part of both traditional Swazi culture and Christian worship services.

Despite these changes brought about by Christianity over time there have been criticisms that it does not fully incorporate African spirituality into its teachings which can lead people away from their own spiritual identity – something that needs further discussion within church communities.

In conclusion , while there have been both positive impacts on society such as promoting gender equality along with negative ones like erasing aspects African spirituality from people’s lives due its imposition through colonialism ; one cannot deny how much influence religion can have upon shaping cultures worldwide including here specifically within Eswatini where Christians continue living out Christ’s message even today


There is no question that Christianity has had a major impact on the culture and society of Eswatini. From its early introduction to today, it has enabled people from all walks of life to form meaningful connections and build an understanding through shared beliefs in Jesus Christ. As you explore this nation, be sure to take the time to recognize how profoundly Christian values have impacted this beautiful country – a reminder of God’s faithfulness throughout centuries. We hope that your journey will help deepen your appreciation for the role Christianity plays in Eswatini and invite you join our community as we continue following Jesus’s example together.