Our pilgrimage into Cape Town during the Lausanne Congress this week left some of us uneasy. Our group drafted the following statement today. Tell me what you think. See the people supporting the statement here.
Statement of Lament for Evangelicals and the Legacy of Apartheid
This Lausanne Congress 2010 in Cape Town gathered in a land which 16 years ago stood in the grip of one of the greatest evils of our time—apartheid.
We regret that this was not named or confessed at the opening of the Congress.
As participants at the Congress we gathered for dialogue sessions and biblical reflection on peacemaking and reconciliation with careful listening to the stories of Christian involvement and resistance to apartheid. We were also encouraged by stories of hope for the future taking place through local reconciliation ministry.
This leads us, with others, to lament our failure in much of the evangelical church both in South Africa and throughout the world who remained silent about or complicit in apartheid.
Yet we also rejoice that there were Christian witnesses who spoke out prophetically and lived faithfully, at great sacrifice.
This invites us into repentance before our Lord Jesus Christ. We reject the theological heresies which undergirded apartheid. We lament the socioeconomic suffering which is apartheid’s on-going legacy.
This calls the evangelical church to not only lament apartheid’s legacy but opens our eyes to see the pain and wounds of the current realities and injustices which the church fails to protest and engage in our own contexts today. We are called to deeds of repentance and to resist injustices.
Wherever there is suffering in our world today, we rejoice where the church lives the alternative, and lament where the church remains silent.
We call upon this Congress to join in this spirit of lament and confession.
- Read more about the people who organized reconciliation dialogue sessions
- “Reconciliation as the Mission of God”, from the 2004 Lausanne Issue Group on Reconciliation
- Download translations of “Reconciliation as the Mission of God” in French, Korean, Arabic, or Serbia
Also See: Official Lausanne Congress site
Previous Reconcilers Posts from Lausanne Cape Town: