In the long struggle for freedom in South Africa, parts of the church played a major role, even as other parts colluded with the apartheid regime. Few actions in that struggle were more important than the Belhar Confession.
Anyone engaged in conflict resolution, whether interpersonal or international, would agree that the process must begin with truth telling. But can truth telling be more than a beginning? Can it create a political environment hospitable to both perpetrator and victim?
This summer thousands of high school and college-age Jewish youth have been descending on Israel. These students are participating in the Birthright Israel program, established by philanthropists Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt.
For some 400 years, the small Reformed Church in America has relied on only three confessional statements of belief, all of them forged in the crucible of the Reformation. Now they have added a fourth, and its unlikely origins—apartheid-era South Africa—speak volumes about the changing nature of global Christianity and its impact on one of America’s oldest denominations.
Time magazine senior editor Tony Karon writes a personal Internet blog that he calls the “Rootless Cosmopolitan,” a term Russian dictator Joseph Stalin used as a euphemistic pejorative for Jew during his anti-Semitic purges of the 1940s.
Billy Graham has been named in the Gallup Poll’s top 10 “most admired men” list for a record 50th time. In a poll taken in mid-December, the 88-year-old evangelist came in fifth. Ranked before him, in order, were President George W. Bush, former president Bill Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and Senator BarackObama (D., Ill.).
Afrikaner cleric C. F. Beyers Naudé, who died September 7, could have led South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church as well as the Broederbond, the once-powerful Afrikaner secret organization, but he turned his back on them and chose instead a lonely path of opposition to apartheid.