They argued that the Bible taught that humankind, by the will of God, was separated into different races that should each have their own lands. Learned and seemingly godly Reformed theologians developed an impressive biblical case for apartheid--. Download preview PDF. Over the Years South Africa has been a peaceful entity in terms of Religious Conflicts. The Reformed Church of South Africa was the largest denomination in the country by far. Answer: Apartheid is a system of segregation based on race, gender, or other factors wherein the ruling faction dominates. Baptismal water symbolises the death of the old sinful self and the rebirth into new life. The Apartheid government was all a bunch of christians, remember christianity got to south africa when the europeans stole the africans land, part of apartheid was because the black people weren't christian. The government has the right to create laws and citizens must obey them (Rom. These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. The "biblical" case for Apartheid is as follows: This theology was backed by virtually every Reformed theologian in South Africa. Some scholars and revisionist historians are attempting to draw lines of distinction between Calvinism per se, the history of the Afrikaners, and the civil religion of the apartheid regime in particular. [x] Bonhoeffer still offers wisdom in the turmoil and yearning of South Africa today, especially through his famous warning about easeful religion in The Cost of Discipleship : They find it hard to believe that, for eighteen centuries, Christians accepted slavery like they did other cultural realities. The editors and contributors to RBMW also argued that the Bible does not "approve" of slavery, it only "regulates" an existing institution like Moses regulated divorce.[3]. I first heard the "biblical" case for Apartheid at Moore College, Sydney, in the mid 1960's from the lips of Broughton Knox, the principal, and Donald Robinson, the vice-principal. Today, virtually all evangelicals including complementarians believe that the Bible in no way approves of or endorses slavery. Prozesky, Martin, Christianity in South Africa p 132 The Churches struggle against apartheid and a comment on the effectiveness of this Challenge. In 1982, The World Alliance of Reformed Churches passed a motion declaring that Apartheid was a "heresy.". They insisted that their policies were pleasing to God because they were grounded in Scripture. Not logged in It’s not too late to strengthen CBE’s voice and beat the tax deadline! [8] The AFM is a striking example of the differences in outlooks of White and Black members of the same church. Unable to display preview. The latter is led by Lucas Mangope, an AG member and former president of Bophuthatswana, one of the four “bantustans” the apartheid regime created and considered independent. South Africa has become synonomous with apartheid, yet three quarters of South Africans regard themselves as Christians. A classroom in Crossroads, a squatter township in South Africa, 1979. ] My own position on the issue has always been clear. One of these Christian leaders was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has remained in the history of South Africa, featuring prominently in the reign of apartheid (BBC, 2010). Amongst them were exiled leaders of the resistance against the Dutch colonisers (Tayob 1996: 730f. The story of the gospel of love and its complex interplay with politics is a haunting, fertile theme and this is a provocative study of 14 aspects of it. …show more content… The Apartheid System was based upon the earlier system of segregation. For the Apartheid theologians, difference between races trumped any similarities. Politically, it was perceived that Christianity helped in increasing awareness and exposing the evils and injustice of apartheid in South Africa using the media and scholarship programs were Religion became a tool for the reform. They were slaves and political exiles from the islands of Indonesia and Malaysia, Bengal, the Malabar Coast and Madagascar. Peter Walshe, a professor from the University of Notre Dame, gives a lecture on Christianity during the end of apartheid in South Africa. (Note the euphemistic language also common in complementarian theology. 136.243.24.228. Part 5 Christianity, power and race: Millennial christianity-- British imperialism and African nationalism, Wallace G. Mills-- Missionaries and South African christians in the age of segregation, R. Elphick-- South African theology since 1948, E.M. Klaaren-- Christianity and anti-apartheid struggle, P. Walshe. From the time of the first white settlements in South Africa, the Protestant emphasis on home Bible reading ensured that basic literacy would be achieved in the family.Throughout the development from itinerant teachers to schools and school systems, the family foundation of Christian education remained, though it was gradually extended to embrace an ethnic-linguistic “family.” Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks. And as post-Apartheid South Africa slowly destroys itself, the Jews who advocated for its destruction have fled the country in huge numbers — 40% of them have left since the fall of Apartheid. . Apartheid is most closely associated with the former political climate of the Republic of South Africa from 1948 to 1994 in which the minority white population controlled the government. They insisted that their policies were pleasing to God because they were grounded in Scripture. They were put on trial for heresy, found guilty, and denounced by the prime minister, Dr. H. Verwoerd, himself a theologian. they supported slavery and also Jim-Crow in the U.S. South Africa got … They had been using the Bible to justify what the Bible condemns! This service is more advanced with JavaScript available, Christianity Amidst Apartheid They were branded as opponents of the church to which they belonged and worse, opponents of what the Bible so plainly endorsed. The decades long pro-apartheid regime in South Africa was heavily supported by Christian denominations, specifically the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), while other denominations and prominent Christian leaders, such as Archbishop Tutu, strongly opposed this oppressive The Bible teaches that God has created different races. During the apartheid years, Christian leaders opposed to apartheid often turned to the writings of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. From 1948 through the 1990s, a single word dominated life in South Africa. Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. Richardson, Neville, ‘Apartheid, Heresy and the Church in South Africa’, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-20527-1_8, Palgrave Religion & Philosophy Collection. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. South Africa, of course, was the home of apartheid, a form of racial segregation that makes American racial segregationists jealous. The whole issue of Christian responses to the former apartheid regime in South Africa is an area fraught with difficulties and errors. A few opposed it. It is agreed that those who supported it were wrong. Prejudice is part of our fallen human natures (Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5). Despite South Africa's participation in the war on the side of the British, many Afrikaners found the Nazi use of state socialism to benefit the "master race" attractive, and a Neo-Nazi gray-shirt organization formed in 1933, which gained increasing support in the late 1930s, calling themselves "Christian Nationalists." "[1] Replying to those who connect the emancipation of women and slaves, they say that even if "some slave holders in the nineteenth century argued in ways parallel with our defense of distinct roles in marriage, the parallel was superficial and misguided. Nelson Mandela was in bed with the jewish communists in the anti-Apartheid movement from its very beginnings. By Laurens van der Post ... Rhodesia and the Union of South Africa. ��� This annotated bibliography is an attempt to remind the Christiancommunity that the question of the relationship between Christianity andapartheid is hardly new, that already a large literature exists dealin… It seems the South African Reformed theologians who were so sure the Bible endorsed, if not prescribed Apartheid, were teaching heresy. Critics of apartheid often blame Christians for itsexistence claiming that racial oppression in South Africa is the fruit ofChristianity. Furthermore, the editors assert that the Bible unambiguously disapproves of slavery, laying down the grounds "for slavery's dissolution. "[2], The case for slavery was not advanced by "some slave holders," but by the best evangelical and Reformed theologians of the day. The story of the gospel of love and its complex interplay with politics is a haunting, fertile theme and this is a provocative study of 14 aspects of it. If they did, they might have to re-examine their argument that God has permanently subordinated women to men. Throughout my adult life, I boycotted South African produce in UK shops, making clear to shopkeepers my distaste of the former South African regime. In fact, most Christians find it unfathomable that the best theologians in America in the nineteenth century argued that God instituted slavery and approved of it. We have learned from these two stories of oppression in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series that evangelical and Reformed theologians can, with Bible in hand, find arguments from Scripture to justify and legitimate their rule over others. The DRC of South Africa uses the symbols of bread and wine to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. The United Nations General Assembly had denounced apartheid in 1973, and in 1976 the UN Security Council voted to impose a mandatory embargo on the sale of arms to South Africa. [3] Ibid., 177. In 1985, 92% of … ‘Apartheid’ means ‘being apart’ in Dutch and Afrikaans, a variation of Dutch spoken by the Dutch settlers of South Africa. The story of Babel tells us that the separation of people into different races with different languages is God's will. It would be in a direct contradiction of the revealed will of God to plead for a commonality between whites, coloured, and Blacks. Derick A. Becker, Derick A. Becker, Introduction: There Is No Alternative—Globalization and Post-Apartheid South Africa, Neoliberalism and the State of Belonging in South Africa, 10.1007/978-3-030-39931-3, (1-33), (2020). Christianity in South Africa : an annotated bibliography / by: Chidester, David. Christianity and Christians in Post-Apartheid South Africa—The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Many Christians, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, gave the best years of their ministry to model the possibility of a racially integrated society. ). © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. Died: Nelson Mandela, South African Leader Who Stood Against Apartheid The legacy of the president who prized reconciliation has much to teach … And many of its early proponents prided themselves in being Christians. In Acts 2:5-11, Rev. He was forced to resign as minister and put out of his home without a salary. It begins with an examination of apartheid. The world is predicated on a number of unchanging creation "orders" (i.e. Their best scholars had doctorates from mainly Dutch Universities. Justifying Injustice with the Bible: Apartheid, We see exactly the same argument used to justify Apartheid in South Africa in the 20th century. Cite as. The Study Project on Christianity in Apartheid Society (SPRO-CAS) was established in mid-1969 by the South African Council of Churches and the Christian Institute of Southern Africa. South Africa. In five hundred and sixty-six pages, this fact is ignored. Non-Christian entities in the country include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. Among Afrikaans-speaking whites this factor could be especially significant because theirs has historically been an exceptionally devout culture, and because they are a majority among those who control power in South Africa. Published: (1997) Great South African Christians. Throughout my adult life, I boycotted South African produce in UK shops, making clear to shopkeepers my distaste of the former South African regime. ", Similarly, an official statement of the Reformed church stated, "The principle of apartheid between races and peoples, also separate missions and churches, is well supported by scripture.". My own position on the issue has always been clear. Indeed, the system of apartheid was regarded as stemming from the mission of the church...Religious communities also suffered under apartheid, their activities were disrupted, their leaders persecuted, … In South Africa today, it would be hard to find a Reformed theologian who supports Apartheid. They had been using the Bible to justify what the Bible condemns! In 1982, The World Alliance of Reformed Churches passed a motion declaring that Apartheid was a "heresy." 13:1-7). In the apartheid regime where traditional beliefs were mocked and rejected, thChristianity is the primary belief system in South Africa, with Protestantism being the largest denomination. In the 20th century, in the face of external attacks on white rule, the best Reformed theologians gave their able minds to developing biblical support for separate development (Apartheid). Question: "How should a Christian view apartheid?" Judging by New Testament material like the parable of the Good Samaritan, the heart of Christianity consists of the central religious vision and example of Jesus of Nazareth declaring that the world exists within the power of an everlastingly and perfectly loving God. Apartheid—Afrikaans for “apartness”—kept the country’s majority black … One of their most respected theologians, F. Potgeiter, summed up what was believed: "It is quite clear that no one can ever be a proponent of integration on the basis of the scriptures. They were totally convinced that the Bible endorsed the separation of the races. "From our one ancestor God made all nations (Greek. What is more, they were very evangelistic and worked tirelessly to see black South Africans converted and worshiping in their own churches. Neither the editors, John Piper and Wayne Grudem, nor any of the contributors to the definitive complementarian collection of essays, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ever once mention that most Christians, until modern times, thought that the Bible legitimized and endorsed slavery and that American Reformed theologians wrote extensively on the "biblical" case for slavery. It is an evil and Christians should oppose slavery. The social segregation of Black, Coloured and White people was reflected in the establishment of churches of these three groups. More recently the church labelled apartheid as a sin in the hope of uniting its congregants regardless of race. Part of Springer Nature. This chapter provides a historical context that will demonstrate the ambivalent relationship between Christianity and apartheid in South Africa. We see exactly the same argument used to justify Apartheid in South Africa in the 20th century. The Dutch Reformed Church provided a theological justification of apartheid, claiming that it was God's will and that the Bible supported it. In 1658 the first Muslims arrived in the Cape. The glaring structural sin of the apartheid system was unrecognized, and those Christians who dared speak against it were at best ‘liberals’, but more often were declared to be dangerous, Communist-inspired proponents of ‘liberation theology’, another anti-Christian ideology that amounted to the seduction of ‘biblical’ Christianity by evil forces. The church supported the system of apartheid, which institutionalized separation and stratification of the people of South Africa according to race. Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. This document was founded after the chasm between the South African Council of Churches and Afrikaans-speaking churches grew wider, the South African Council of churches being attacked on every side. Walsh first discusses the political transition in South Africa and then the role of Christian theology in South Africa during the period of transition. South Africa is in the news,and Christians are called upon to explain the relationship between Christianityand apartheid. Religious Faith and Anti-Apartheid Activism. These efforts came at great personal cost. The response of South Africa's religious institutions to apartheid spanned a wide spectrum – from overt support to tacit acceptance and outright rejection. For people in South Africa, the apartheid regime tried to scare us by saying that anyone who opposed them was “communist”, but in fact there was little to fear from a communist takeover, because we already had the most fearsome features of communist regimes — secret police, detention without trial, an authoritarian state system, persecution of Christians (except for the government … ... whatever people in the outside world may think of the establishment in southern Africa… It seems the South African Reformed theologians who were so sure the Bible endorsed, if not prescribed Apartheid, were teaching heresy. The whole issue of Christian responses to the former apartheid regime in South Africa is an area fraught with difficulties and errors. How are Christians to respond? South Africa has become synonomous with apartheid, yet three quarters of South Africans regard themselves as Christians. This is a preview of subscription content. In the twentieth century, however, several Christian churches actively promoted racial divisions through the political philosophy of apartheid. They were totally convinced that the Bible endorsed the separation of the races. The unambiguous and overwhelming support of Apartheid by the Reformed churches justified and legitimated the system. With this to inspire and unite them, and numbering some three quarters of the total population of the country, South Africa’s Christians could clearly be a significant and even vital factor in the search for a post-apartheid era providing equal rights, opportunities and safety for all. Post-apartheid South Africa sees the formation of smaller Christian parties, such as the Simunye in Christ Organization and the United Christian Democratic Party. The editors, Andreas Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner, and contributors to the later authoritative complementarian collection of essays, Women in the Church, similarly ignore or dismiss the historical facts about slavery. Missionaries and South African Christians in the Age of Segregation,” states that early twentieth- century Social Gospel Christians sought to alleviate Africans of oppressive social and cultural policies by implementing British and American Social Gospel ideas. [2] Ibid., 66. Over 10 million scientific documents at your fingertips. [1] Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. Indeed, no complementarian today is willing to admit that, with Bible in hand, leading evangelical and Reformed theologians argued that slavery was instituted by God and approved by him. This essay is based on a paper with the title ‘Christianity and Apartheid: From Christian Deicide to Socio-Political Salvation in South Africa’ which was presented at a conference on Salvation and the Secular at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, in June 1985. Twice while I was in college, Stephen Bradley, the bishop of the breakaway Church of England in South Africa, spoke to us students in support of Apartheid at the invitation of Dr. Knox. No possible rational or moral objection can be made to the idea of different races each having their own geographical area to develop separately at their own pace. The words of Lord Acton in 1887 ring true in reference to the apartheid of South Africa: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A Christian’s response to any form of racial prejudice is to reject it. Christianity and Apartheid. 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