Welcome to Christadelphians of Tanzania
The Christadelphians (a word created from the Greek for "Brethren in Christ"; cp. Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ") are a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas, who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism. The group has often been described as a form of Messianic Judaism, as they share many of their beliefs and hopes with Judaism; notably the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel whilst they also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.
Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians, who are spread across approximately 120 countries; there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries, along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000), Australia (9,987), Malawi (7,000), United States (6,500), Mozambique (7,500), Canada (3,375), New Zealand (1,785), Kenya (1,700), India (1,500) and Tanzania (100). This puts the figure at around 57,000.
STEPHEN’S PERSECUTION AND DEFENCE
Readings: Acts ch. 7
“He that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” It was only a matter of time before the great challenge behind those words of the Lord Jesus Christ was put to a great test in the lives of certain of his followers. We have read today of the great devotion manifested in the case of the disciple Stephen, who is generally styled the first Christian martyr. He was the first on record, at any rate, to lose his life for the sake of the one he had loved and followed. This great challenge in the words of Jesus, we know, lies not in terms of human stoicism but rather in faith, humble devotion to the Truth, that Truth which is embodied in the Lord Jesus himself.
It is perhaps significant that there are certain parallels in the circumstances which lead up to the betrayal and death of our Master and those of which we read in that account of the death of Stephen and the events leading up to it. In the first place we recall that when Jesus was first apprehended one of the many false accusations which were made against him was that he had threatened to destroy the temple in Jerusalem. So it was that similar charges were made against Stephen. Firstly, a false report about him was spread around. We read about this in yesterday’s reading. If we glance at the 6th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, verse 11 we read that “they suborned men, which said, We have hear