Zimbabwean migrants take refuge from the cold - Al Jazeera English

Zimbabwean migrants take refuge from the cold

Zimbabweans who flock to South Africa continue to face trying conditions, but many choose to stay.

Eugene Arries |

The Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg is a rare sanctuary for migrants who arrive in South Africa.

As Zimbabwe went to the polls on Wednesday, tensions remained high in South Africa - home to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have fled since the country's 2008 election. 

The church is a haven for many of these Zimbabweans, and many expressed their concern in a service late on Tuesday night. 

During a heartfelt service, some spoke out and began to debate Zimbabwe's political parties and leaders. 

Most people at the service said they just wanted peace, and to see their country rebuilt - no matter which party was in power. 

The following images take a look inside the church's crowded hallways and basement - areas that many of the undocumented migrants have come to call home. 

While many shied away from having their picture taken, they later agreed - although none would give their name, for fear of retribution. 

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