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Kwasizabantu Mission’s Marriage Law

The Kwasizabantu marriage law did not result from a careful study of God’s Word, but from a dream one of their co-workers had many years ago, which was taken to be a revelation from God.

According to this law, young people are not allowed to have a relationship or be alone with members of the opposite sex. Engaged couples are not allowed to have contact with one another until they are married. If a young man feels led to get married to a specific girl, he has to share his intention with Erlo Stegen or his brother, Friedel Stegen. Erlo or Friedel then contacts the girl, conveys the young man’s marriage proposal, and instructs the girl to pray about it. After a period of time the girl then presents her answer to one of them. The couple is not allowed to have contact with one another before they get married.

This ritual is viewed as the only acceptable way of getting married. Any other way is believed to be carnal, ungodly and “of the devil”.

As a result of the extreme fear and secrecy which prevails at Kwasizabantu Mission, this ritual has to be kept totally undercover until the day the engagement is publicly announced. Therefore, the young man and young girl usually don’t share any details of what is taking place with anybody, except with their counsellors.

If the matter becomes known before the official announcement of the engagement, or if the young man and young woman are found to have made contact with one another in any way, the matter is viewed as unacceptable, and as a breach of the KSB “marriage standard”. Then the engagement and wedding will not take place – at least not on KSB soil and not with the blessing of Erlo Stegen.

Failure by members of this cult to adhere to this unwritten marriage rule, will lead to the ridiculing, degrading, or punishment of one or both parties. Erlo Stegen is known for his refusal to marry those who do not strictly adhere to this ritual.

If, however, the KSB marriage ritual is followed in a precise manner, and if the girl’s answer is in the affirmative, the parents of the young man and young girl are then informed about their intention to get married. In one case, a parent was informed about the child’s intention to get married only a few hours before the engagement was announced.

As a result of another unwritten KSB rule that children are not allowed to share their hearts with their parents, the parents usually do not know anything about the marriage proposal before this stage. Parents also very often do not have any idea what kind of a person their son or daughter’s future spouse is. Parents – and especially fathers, who are the protectors of their daughters – are thus completely excluded and deprived of their right and their God-given responsibility to guide their child in the choice of a spouse. Even if the parents would not be in agreement with the choice of a partner, the marriage usually goes ahead because the young man and young girl would claim that God is leading them into this marriage.

The sad fact is that, on certain occasions, some of the men who got married according to this marriage custom, afterwards were found to be of flawed character, committing adultery and /or evil criminal deeds, not excluding rape and murder.

Erlo Stegen and his brother, Friedel Stegen, as well as some of the co-workers of KSB, have on numerous occasions been accused of manipulating or influencing their followers in their choice of a marriage partner. And, if the leadership knows or finds out that one of the marriage partners do not agree with their teaching and practices, they will go to any length to either prevent the marriage, or destroy it, if the couple is already married.

The KSB leadership might justify their marriage law by saying that it is an alternative to the promiscuous secular society where young people very often get engaged without asking their parents’ permission, and live together as husband and wife. Yet, we find no justification in God’s Word for this marriage law, which is but a man-made rule.

The Pharisees also had their oral tradition or unwritten laws, which they called “the tradition of the elders”.

Christ was opposed to, and condemned them for focusing on outward rituals, tradition and unwritten laws: “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)