An Ecclesiological Study of Congregations and Churches in Post-apartheid South Africa
Chapter Two: Church Rejecting Division
In several documents, conferences, and consultations from the early twentieth century, South African churches and the ecumenical movement have questioned ethnic divisions in the Church. In this chapter I will portray how the churches and the ecumenical movement have reacted to the separation of the human community, and outline their approach to a just Church and society. This chapter should be regarded as background to understanding the South African context before and after democratisation.
Firstly, I will examine the ecumenical movement’s rejection of apartheid before democratisation. It is primarily based on documentation from ecumenical conferences and consultations held in South Africa before democratisation. Secondly, I will examine ecumenical consultations and the TRC’s Faith Communities Hearing held after democratisation. In this part I have mainly made use of documentation from the TRC, churches’ submissions, and audiovisual materials and transcripts from the Faith Communities Hearing in East London in 1997. A large part will look at the churches’ submissions to and responses at this hearing. The churches’ submissions and responses are central because they illustrate the churches’ positions when the society was segregated, and how they regarded the future.
2.1 Declarations, Conferences and Consultations before Democratisation
Discrimination against people who were not ‘White’ had been going on since colonisation, and also in the two Boer republics and the two British colonies.1 The situation did not change after the negotiations between the Boer republics and the British parliament, when the Union of South Africa was...
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