Christianity has clearly not completely taken hold in Africa. In the 1990s, black South Africans form a majority in all large Nevertheless, what distinguishes South Africa’s new independent evangelical churches is their dual mission of evangelism and racial reconciliation. origins to their struggle for survival. South Africa's Black City Music and Theatre, 1985. In the parlance of the streets, South Africa’s population is divided into two camps: the “liberators” and the “collaborators.” In the latter camp are all those who do not accept the left’s agenda and its self-proclaimed leadership, a category into which the overwhelming majority of South Africa’s evangelicals fit. All of the Dutch Reformed churches share similar Calvinist beliefs That this is not the case is evidenced by the number and intensity of attacks that the religious left has directed against South Africa’s evangelicals. the 1990s. Influences of Religion on African Culture Religion being one of the core components of culture has a great influence on culture. Traditional African Religions. opposed apartheid. He has just completed a year as an Olin Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture at Boston University. Christianity and Islam are the cause of almost all the wars and tribal conflicts in Africa today. South Africa … Both, says Morphew, “begin with the historical context and reinterpret Scripture accordingly”; therefore, he concludes, both are heretical. in many important respects, the decolonisation of South Africa has not been completed (cf Saayman 1991:%-103). The numbers are impressive. Both religions derive culture forms from foreign to Africa and any attempt for an African State to align itself with one or other may be construed negatively in AFRICA. Its four The African indigenous church gatherings tend to be smaller, but the total number of different African independent church groups has multiplied well beyond 3,000, representing millions of blacks. The country’s constitution explicitly states everyone’s right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art, culture and philosophy. Today, religion is being exploited again; and once again, in the service of tyranny. In reality, these groups are very different, and denouncing them as if they were all cut out of the same racist cloth does nothing more than render transparent the actual agenda of South Africa’s religious left. Their doctrines assert that God is The dangers of politicized religion pervade the annals of South African history. South Africa is a country of many cultures, known by its citizens as the Rainbow Nation. The Bible--both the Old Testament and the New Testament--is A few Dutch Reformed clergy In fact, they are conspicuous in South Africa for their interracial character. Time will tell whether Christian values will continue to have more influence in Africa. South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, bordering Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho. . With 11 official languages and 8 other recognised languages, the rich culture of each of these groups brings its own vibrancy to our diversity. Christianity became a powerful influence in South Africa, often uniting large numbers of people in a common faith. This is precisely what happened when earlier Afrikaner political leaders used racial theology to champion apartheid ideology. Fine, Ben, and Zavareh Rustomjee. century, after Calvinist reforms in Europe had entrenched the idea of The Islam was introduced through the Cape Malay slaves of the Dutch colonists. religion" of the National Party during the apartheid era. Almost all South Africans profess some religious affiliation, according to the official census in 1991. This assault has been conducted in books (e.g., Paul Gifford’s The Religious Right in Southern Africa), newsletters (e.g., Crisis News), on the pages of prestigious academic journals (e.g., Journal of Theology for Southern Africa), and through the putative research of mainline religious organizations such as the Institute for Contextual Theology. Derek Morphew, for example, an evangelical theologian and director of Cape Fellowship Ministries, equates “black theology” (i.e., liberation theology) with the Afrikaner theology used to defend apartheid. Among the evangelical independent churches (sometimes referred to as New Independent Churches or NICs), it is not unusual to find congregations numbering in the thousands. African Religion and its Influence on Christianity and Islam Traditional African religion has been the basis of spirituality for the people of Africa. Desmond Tutu in the 1980s, the SACC also attempted to withhold As black Africans and people of mixed race converted to the religion, Like all human cultures, African folklore and religion is diverse and varied. Reformed churches. To read the original in a PDF format, click here.To receive whole copies of future issues, subscribe here. Indigenous African religions survive throughout the continent, and in some regions multiple religions co-exist. Church members in South Africa generally resisted liberal trends that particular, to denounce school integration. (also translated, the Dutch Reformed Church), and in 1859, with the Moreover, the religions developed in the Americas impact Africa in that devotees of the African diaspora have significant influence on practices in Africa. During the formative years of Dutch influence in the late seventeenth century, the religion of the Reformed Church was given special protection as the vehicle through which the Afrikaner identity was forged. leaders and parishioners. . He A large segment of Rhema’s congregation, for example, lives in the black townships of Soweto and Alexandra. South Africa Table of Contents Dutch Reformed Churches. To ascertain the nature of the contemporary relation between religion and politics in Africa, it is necessary to take int… more committed to apartheid than many of their followers, and the church Some white Anglicans Therefore, I want to focus on my experiences of religion and politics in South Africa not as a representative of a political party, but as a co-religionist. Its political role was unambiguous: to provide theological justification for apartheid. On the eve of what will most certainly be a “new,” multiracial South Africa, religion remains a pervasive and powerful social influence. Rorty, rights and religion: The contribution of South African religions to a shared value system Ronald Nicolson INTRODUCTION The need for shared values It must be obvious to us all that if there is to be hope and stability in South Africa, a common set of values will need to be widely accepted. “Although Christianity and Islam have added distinct elements to African religions, each has been and continued to be adapted to and shaped by Africa’s indigenous religious heritage” [Ambrose Moyo, 2007:326 “Religion in Africa” in G&G. “Right-wing Christianity under whatever name,” the document states, “is a way of believing that rejects . In contrast to South Africa’s vocal patrons of liberation theology (who are largely confined to the intellectual class), most evangelical independent and African indigenous churches eschew radical politics and the transformation of the Christian message into a political agenda. As a result, there are declining numbers of followers of traditional indigenous religions and very few atheists or agnostics. Christianity became a powerful influence in South Africa, often uniting large numbers of people in a common faith. in order to support the ideology of the national security state.” Consequently, “we (the document’s signatories) denounce all forms of right-wing Christianity as heretical.”. Other church groups, both within the evangelical movement and outside it (the African indigenous churches come to mind), are simply apolitical. Methodist Church, which was overwhelmingly black, adopted openly On 17 August 2016, an article titled, “The Damning Effects Of Religion In Africa,” written by Kofi Asamoah Okyere was published on Modernghana.com in which the writer sought to establish a case that religion impeded the development of Africa.. his whites-only church in the late 1970s and joined a black parish South Africa's Black City Music and Theatre, 1985. 1 Introduction: Peoples, religions, Constitution and Charter. South Africa’s culture is one of the most diverse in the world and has given rise to the term “Rainbow Nation”. The South African Council of Churches (SACC) There is a direct link between religion and laziness which contributes to poverty in Africa; religion makes people lackadaisical in their attitude towards finding practical ways to improve their undesirable living conditions. Instead, values and behaviours of the population differ strongly among the cultural groups to which people belong. comfortable intersection between religion and politics. Ultimately, the success or failure of the democratic enterprise depends on the values, beliefs, and habits of a nation’s people. and their followers concerning race and politics. Of course, it has not in Europe or North America as well. main branches had more than 3 million members in 1,263 congregations in has planned the life and the fate of each individual on earth; the The SACC not Accurately described as theologically conservative, the new independent evangelical churches are racially liberal: they are opposed to apartheid, while advocating and practicing racial harmony. The main analytical problem involving an understanding of the relation between religion and politics in Africa is the region's astonishing multifariousness of religious beliefs, ethnic divisions, cultural distinctions, and political modes. 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