A Nation at Prayer, a Nation in Hate: Apartheid in South Africa
30 Stan. J. Int'l L. 483, 1994
43 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2012
Date Written: Summer 1994
The year 1948 marks the birth of the repressive apartheid regime in South Africa. Apartheid, or "separate development," divided people solely on the basis of skin color. Those officially classified as black had few right. Ironically, while this policy was developed by devout Christians and legitimized through some official Christian bodies, Christianity has also been instrumental in the opposition to apartheid and its recent demise. This note will discuss the role of religion in the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa. It begins with a look at how the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) helped legitimize apartheid. It then describes the DRC's use of theology in the development and perpetuation of apartheid. Finally, it details various religious critiques of apartheid and the DRC's responses to these critiques.
Keywords: Apartheid, Dutch Reformed Church, African National Congress, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Liberation Theology
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