About Us


ZEMA, Zion Evangelical Ministries of Africa, is an international missions agency that ministers to the African independent churches in southern Africa. 

ZEMA primarily ministers to the Zionists of the African independent churches. In South Africa they are often referred to as “amaZioni,” a Zulu word meaning “the people of Zion.” AmaZioni are syncretistic. They integrate Christian belief and indigenous African beliefs. This makes them one of the largest new religious movements on the planet. There are estimates of 15–18 million members throughout southern Africa.

Though amaZioni are syncretistic, they have a desire to study and follow the Bible. But many amaZioni do not have access to either formal pastoral, seminary) or informal (Sunday school, church small group) Bible teaching. Depending on location and ethnicity, amaZioni might have
limited access to any Christian resources. 

The Word of God is powerful. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) When amaZioni get access to Bible teaching, it changes everything! It changes how pastors and church leaders preach, breaks chains of fear of evil spirits and ancestors, transforms home lives, opens the way for economic and social responsibility, and brings people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

ZEMA is uniquely qualified to teach the Bible and disciple church leaders because we have a connection to the original Zion “mother church” a church established 1896 in Zion, Illinois. This Zion connection makes ZEMA missionaries amaZioni serving amaZioni in southern Africa! And through ZEMA, even missionaries from other countries can share “the true teachings of Zion” (the Bible) with amaZioni!

ZEMA starts and runs Bible schools, provides training for children’s and youth ministry, publishes and distributes Christian literature, runs Christian camps, produces radio ministries, etc. The heart of our mission is to know God and make Him known among the African independent churches.

We invite you to learn about the stories of how God is using the Bible in southern African by reading our Field Stories.

You can join us and make an impact by supporting a ZEMA missionary or join our general fund to support ministries across southern Africa.

To give generally towards this incredible mission today click below.

Change is stirring in Africa.

As ZEMA’s presence in southern Africa grows, we are privileged to influence the direction of that change. Will you join us?

If you know firsthand the transformative power of God, then you share our belief:

When individual hearts change, lives are changed, and families transformed…

…communities are enriched…

…which impacts entire countries…

…and ultimately revolutionizes a continent.

Yes, there is tremendous hope for Africa.

To accomplish something this grand, would require an army…

In a way, yes. Good thing we have one.

ZEMA works with the amaZioni people of southern Africa a group of impassioned God-followers already 18 million strong. The African Independent Church Movement of the amaZioni is like a fire waiting for the fuel of God’s truth. Through biblical teaching and training in leadership, ZEMA’s mission is to help the amaZioni hone their knowledge of God’s word, take up leadership roles in their churches and communities, and spread their love for God and the truth of the Gospel in all directions.

These passionate and devoted millions stand positioned to influence their communities and cultures on an unprecedented scale. ZEMA missionaries believe we stand at the edge of a new era, one in which God’s truth – the truth that leads to everlasting freedom and joy, for now and for eternity – is about to take Africa by storm.

Here we are, at the edge of something amazing. Will you join us? Together we’ll see what God is going to do.

Our background:

The Zionists of the African Independent Churches in Southern Africa took their name – amaZioni, the people of Zion – not from the biblical Zion, but from the town of Zion, Illinois, USA, which sent literature and missionaries to South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Though many of the Zionists have become syncretistic, combining what they know about Christianity with traditional African religious beliefs, they have an insatiable desire to study and follow the Bible.

Because ZEMA has a formal connection with the “mother church” in Zion, our missionaries are blessed with great relationships with the amaZioni. Many of the millions of Zionists are looking to ZEMA to provide the biblical training they so greatly desire.

In response, ZEMA offers rigorous biblical training classes, mentorship among congregations, and abundant opportunities for fellowship, learning, and growth. The heart of our mission – to know God and make him known – is reflected in everything we do. We hope you’ll take a minute to look around and see what we’re up to.