Jews of Rusape

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The Jews of Rusape, Zimbabwe are a group of people who practice Judaism. Their observance of Judaism is generally in accordance with that of mainstream Judaism practiced in other countries with the exception of a few key aspects. The Rusape Jews, believe that although Jesus was not the Messiah, he was a prophet. They believe that he did not rise to heaven as is taught in Christianity, but was rather buried in Israel as a regular man. The community's origins are attributed to an individual known as William S. Crowdy, who came to the community in the late 19th or early 20th century.[1]


Crowdy was a Baptist deacon and former American slave. It is believed that Crowdy experienced a revelation in which he was told to initiate black people to Judaism. Within a short span of time after this revelation, Crowdy met Albert Christian, who settled in southern Africa and instructed his followers in the laws and customs of Judaism.[1][2]