Category : South Africa

(BBC) Six things you didn’t know about Nelson Mandela

Rolihlahla Mandela was nine years old when a teacher at the primary Methodist school where he was studying in Qunu, South Africa, gave him an English name – Nelson – in accordance with the custom to give all school children Christian names.

This was common practice in South Africa and in other parts of the continent, where a person could often be given an English name that foreigners would find easier to pronounce.

Rolihlahla is not a common name in South Africa.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa

(Sightings) Martin Marty on the recent Coverage of Nelson Mandela and the War on Christmas

What strikes the analyst of the “War on Christmas” stories, or at least what struck me, was the difference in tone by sets of writers or broadcasters on both, or all, sides of the “culture wars”””there’s that “war” image again””as they dealt with the events, personalities, and trends. The Mandela stories did justice to the flaws of the imperfect human who led causes for freedom in South Africa and inspired strugglers globally, but almost all were written in respectful, humane tones. After all, the Mandela effect is one of reconciliation, even though it was born of conflicts past, whose after-stories linger.

In contrast, both, and all, sides in “The War on Christmas” stories were disrespectful, never empathic. Their authors gave no sign that they could understand why those on the other side were stirred to battle, and they gave every sign that they regarded their side in the argument as totally right in their self-chosen Total War.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Media, Religion & Culture, South Africa

Archbishop Welby pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to Nelson Mandela on Sunday at a special thanksgiving service for the life of the South African leader.

“Great injustice is overcome only by great courage. Evil can never be placated, it must be defeated. That means struggle, and struggles demand courage,” Archbishop Justin said in a sermon at St-Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square.

The service, which was led by the Vicar of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Revd Dr Sam Wells, featured a live link to Christ the King church in Sophiatown in Johannesburg.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, South Africa

Anglican Communion leaders pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba wrote a prayer:

“Go forth, revolutionary and loving soul, on your journey out of this world, in the name of God, who created you, suffered with you and liberated you. Go home Madiba, you have selflessly done all that is good, noble and honourable for God’s people.

“We will continue where you have left off, the Lord being our helper. We now turn to you, Lord, in this hour of darkness, sadness, pain and death, in tears and mourning. We wail, yet we believe that you will console us, that you will give us the strength to hold in our hearts and minds, and the courage to enact in our lives, the values Madiba fought and stood for….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, South Africa

(Washington Post) Paul Taylor–Nelson Mandela knew how to deploy the moral high ground

When, after 27 years, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, the world marveled at his generous spirit, even temperament, genteel manners, disarming wit, ready smile and lack of bitterness.

Admirable as they were, those saintly virtues don’t begin to explain his political genius. Mandela was also cunning, iron-willed, bull-headed, contemptuous ”” and more embittered than he let on. He needed all of his traits ”” soft and hard ”” to engineer a political miracle: persuading a sitting government to negotiate its own abdication by yielding power to the very people it had ruthlessly oppressed.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, South Africa, Violence

Former President Bill Clinton speaks to NBC's Brian Williams about Nelson Mandela

What’s the most indelible time of all the personal time– and you had some intense personal time with him? Is there any one you can separate out?

Watch it all to hear Bill Clinton’s answer (just under 2 3/4 minutes).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa, Theology

(RNS) Shaped by Methodists, Mandela paid tribute to the role of religion

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died Thursday (Dec. 5), had a deep connection with religious institutions.

Mandela was educated, first at Clarkebury and then at Healdtown, Methodist boarding schools that provided a Christian liberal arts education.

“Both were important influences on his life,” said Presiding Bishop Zipho Siwa of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. “Indeed, after his time at Clarkebury, the young Mandela said his horizons had been broadened.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, History, Methodist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, South Africa

***Fantastic Video Tribute to Nelson Mandela Narrated by Morgan Freeman on ESPN***

Nelson Mandela was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2009 ESPY’s. Morgan Freeman pays tribute to Mandela’s actions at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, South Africa, Sports

Archbishop Justin's statement following death of Nelson Mandela

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, South Africa

Kendall Harmon–Reflecting on Nelson Mandela

On this day of nonstop Mandela coverage, we owe it to ourselves and to him to ask how 27 yrs in prison would impact us.

Both Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and Nelson Mandela emerged from prison stronger and more forgiving because of what God did in them–would we emerge the same way?–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, History, Prison/Prison Ministry, South Africa, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times) Anti-apartheid posters Documenting Nelson Mandela's 27 years in prison

Very powerful–take the time to look at them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, History, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, South Africa

Washington Post Editorial–Nelson Mandela brought the world toward a racial reconciliation

Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill, Hitler ”” these were the names that, for much of the world, defined the first half of the 20th century, the most destructive era in history.

Gandhi, King, Mandela ”” these, it could be argued, are the figures who will live longest in the public consciousness as we look back on the postwar world: leaders who had no real armies to speak of and who wielded little power in office but who helped create a new ethic through the power of their ideas and the example of their lives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, Foreign Relations, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Race/Race Relations, South Africa

Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

You may watch the announcement by Jacob Zuma here.

The Wall Street Journal now has an interactive obituary complete with some of his most memorable quotes, tweets and video there

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Aging / the Elderly, Death / Burial / Funerals, Foreign Relations, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa

A Statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

On church affairs, the Bishops agreed to an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Niassa in northern Mozambique in response to strong church growth, and took decisions on problematic issues within the Dioceses of Pretoria and Umzimvubu.
Provisional accreditation of courses at the church’s seminary, the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown was welcomed.

They also warmly welcomed the announcement that the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, with his wife, will attend their second ”˜Anglicans Ablaze’ conference in July 2014.

Speaking after the meeting, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, said ”˜this was a very encouraging time. Within a deeply prayerful context, we tackled a very broad agenda, from church governance through to global faith and political issues. In a short time we made significant progress on a number of matters. God is God of the whole world ”“ and he will guide us in our calling to lead his people in every walk of life, and follow the example of all the saints who have gone before us.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Religion & Culture, South Africa

(FT Weekend Magazine) Desmond Tutu talks about God, Syria, the Mandela legacy and other matters

Soon after Mandela took office, Tutu chided him for increasing MPs’ salaries and for not closing down the apartheid arms trade. When Mandela accused him of being a “populist”, he hit back, typically, though, tempering his attack with an affectionate critique of Mandela’s colourful shirts. Tutu had made his point. The ultimate pastoral interventionist was not going to let Mandela’s stature inhibit him from speaking his mind. To the irritation of the ANC he would retain his independence.

As the ANC became rather accustomed to the perks of power, so his critiques sharpened. In 2004 he lamented that only “an elite few” had reached the “promised land”. Just four months ago, he said that he would no longer vote for the ANC, citing inequality, violence and corruption as among the reasons for his loss of support. When I ask for his current thinking on the party, he turns to “a lovely quote in Isaiah”.

“”˜Look to the rock from which you are hewn.’ We were hewn from a rock of people who were ready to lay down their lives for freedom”¦ We have very many good things that are happening but you long for us to remember why we were in the ­struggle and what kind of South Africa we would love to see. We have accomplished a part of the dream”¦ and some things subvert that dream.”

Read it all (if necessary another link may be found there).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Middle East, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Syria, Theology, Violence

Anglican youth leaders from Southern Africa–the Church Adapts Too Slowly to Youth Ministry

“The Church has been too slow in terms of putting structures in place,” said Youth Co-ordinator for the Church of the Province of Central Africa, Fr Robert Sihubwa. “While we acknowledge the verbal commitment, the lack of funding commitments indicates slow movement.”

Tony Lawrence is the Provincial Youth Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He told ACNS, “Changing our approaches and actively focusing on the ministry to children and young people is critical for the growth and survival of the Church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

A Jewish Pathbreaker Inspired by Her Countryman Mandela

On the Sunday in mid-June when a yeshiva in Manhattan ordained three women as Orthodox Jewish religious leaders, Nelson Mandela lay in a Pretoria hospital for the second week with a life-threatening lung infection. Six time zones and 8,000 miles separated these two events. One golden thread, however, bound them together.

That connection was Sara Hurwitz, the dean of Yeshivat Maharat, which had educated the women. She was the first woman ever to have been designated a maharat ”” an acronym from the Hebrew words for a teacher of Jewish law and spirituality ”” and to subsequently receive the title of “rabba” from the maverick Orthodox rabbi who had trained her, Avi Weiss. For Ms. Hurwitz, born and raised in South Africa during the turbulent years of apartheid, Mr. Mandela had long served as the inspiration for her journey to breaking the gender barrier in the Orthodox Jewish rabbinate.

“I looked at this person as someone who could have been so angry and so disappointed at the land that incarcerated him for so many years for civil disobedience,” Rabba Hurwitz, 36, said in a recent interview. “And he walked out of prison and formed a peaceful government. He could have focused on the injustice of it all, the time he had lost. But instead he saw this newfound freedom as a chance to make change and do what was right. Marching forward, one step after the other, toward justice, without anger.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, South Africa

(BBC) Will South Africans ever be shocked by rape?

At a time when Indians are re-examining their society in the light of a single, horrific incident of gang rape, South Africa seems numb – unable to muster much more than a collective shrug in the face of almost unbelievably grim statistics – seemingly far worse than India’s.

Here almost 60,000 rapes are reported to the police each year – more than double the number in India, in a far smaller country.

Experts believe the true figure is at least 10 times that – 600,000 attacks….

Read it all or watch the video report (recommended).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, India, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Politics in General, Sexuality, South Africa, Theology, Violence, Women

Bishop Nick Baines on the recent Exhibition of photographs in Bradford Cathedral

…[this past Wednesday] evening saw the launch of an exhibition in Bradford Cathedral of fantastic photographs. The gallery includes black and white as well as colour pictures of scenes from the street in Durban, South Africa, and Burundi. They illustrate the reality of young lives blighted by homelessness, hopelessness and hunger ”“ hunger for love, security and friendship. The are also examples of simple joy, playfulness and humour. So far, so good.

Then, as you hear the stories of those portrayed, you realise some of them are already dead.

Streetaction is a small charity working with slim resources to work with partners to offer some street children hope of a future.

Read it all and make sure to check out the Streetaction website. The Bradford Cathedral website includes this description:

Street Action Exhibition–An exhibition by professional photographers of children on the street of Burundi, South Africa and Kenya. Street Action works in partnership with local organisations to tackle the complex needs of children living on the streets with no parental or adult care.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Burundi, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Kenya, Parish Ministry, Poverty, South Africa, Teens / Youth

(BBC) Marikana mine strike: South Africa court frees miners

About 50 South African miners have been freed after murder charges against them, relating to the deaths of 34 miners shot by police, were dropped.

Prosecutors decided to provisionally set aside charges against 270 striking workers from the Marikana mine following a public outcry.

The miners will be released in batches with no bail requirements.

Earlier, security guards wounded four people with rubber bullets at a mine near Johannesburg, police said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, South Africa

(NY Times Op-Ed) Imraan Coovadia on the recent Horrible Story at a South African Mine

…a mine is a difficult place to learn or teach a principle. As a schoolboy I went down a coal shaft as a guest of the Chamber of Mines, which wanted to encourage children to become mining engineers. For an hour we plummeted into dark heat and noise, passages of shivering wooden pillars, rock ceilings sloping almost to the floor that wept hot water. We passed men bent over their clanging and clattering drills who could not even stand up straight where they worked. To go in and come out of such a place, each day of a short life, was, I suspected, placing too much strain on the human heart. One could do it only if one didn’t know that, in 2011, three Lonmin executives earned the same as the combined salaries of 3,600 rock-drill operators.

In the years since 1994, South Africans chose money, and faith in the growth of gross domestic product, as our country’s story line. It is a strange twist to the narrative that many of the northern mines, despite good platinum prices, are almost unprofitable.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Parish Ministry, South Africa, Theology

In South Africa, Religious leaders come together and vow to fight corruption

In one of the strongest stances yet taken against corruption, people of all faiths came together in Khayelitsha on Wednesday to launch an anti-corruption campaign led by the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum.

The forum is supported by Kairos Southern Africa and the SA Council of Churches.

Religious leaders in the city, headed by Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, issued a stern warning to political leaders about their reluctance to deal with corruption.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Theology, Violence

(BBC) South Africa Lonmin killings: Anger over missing miners

Many families of miners caught up in violence at a platinum mine in South Africa are unaware of their fate, two days after 34 people were killed when police opened fire at striking workers.

Angry relatives say the authorities have not produced a list of the dead.

At least 78 people were also injured and more than 200 people arrested.

Meanwhile, thousands of the miners have cheered on controversial youth leader Julius Malema who called for the president to resign over the clashes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa

Archbishop of Cape Town condemns Lonmin deaths, calls for strong, measured, intervention

Like so many South Africans, I have been watching with growing alarm the escalating violence at Lonmin’s Marikana Mine over the last week, and am now stunned and appalled by yesterday’s events which left so many more dead or injured. It is a terrible, heart-breaking, tragedy, for the individuals concerned and for our nation. Our fervent prayers are with all the bereaved, and the hurt and wounded.

Whatever the merits of the various disputes ”“ whether between employees and employers, between unions, between workers and union leaders, between miners and police ”“ whatever the legality of the strikes or the responses to them, this death toll is unacceptable. Even one death is one too many, and there must be an end to this senseless loss of life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Violence

(CS Monitor) When did modern culture begin?

Poisoned-tipped arrows and jewelry made of ostrich egg beads found in South Africa show modern culture may have emerged about 30,000 years earlier in the area than previously thought, according to two articles published on Monday.

The findings published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” show that the 44,000-year-old artifacts are characteristic of the San hunter-gatherers. The descendants of San people live today in southern Africa, so the items can clearly be traced forward to modern culture, unlike other archaeological finds, researchers said.

South African researcher Lucinda Backwell said the findings are the earliest known instances of “modern behavior as we know it.” Backwell said the discovery reinforces the theory that modern man came from southern Africa.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, History, South Africa

St Albans Cathedral in Pretoria fights bishop – gets Court order to hold service

A Pretoria parish had to obtain an urgent court order to hold its church service yesterday.

The move follows a decision on Thursday by South African Council of Churches chairman Bishop Johannes Seoka to close the St Albans Anglican Cathedral for worship.

Seoka took the drastic decision following the resignation of resident priest Father Rudolph Paulse. The priest resigned last week after he was allegedly threatened with death by parishioners.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, South Africa

A story about Norwich, Connecticut, A Couple from South Africa, a Drug Dealer–And God's grace

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Baptists, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Evangelism and Church Growth, Missions, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, South Africa, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

South African Anglican Archbishop opposes Secrecy Bill ”“ An Open Letter to President Zuma

Dear Mr President,

I write to you as one who grew up under a system that oppressed and censored the media ”“ a system that invoked fear in anyone who dared to read, or embrace, different views to those of the government of the day. The passage of the Protection of State Information Bill has stirred up in me vivid memories of my time as a student in the 1980s at Wits, and the traumatising experience of police ransacking our residence as they looked for classified material. The undercurrent of fear running through our lives that this created is so totally in contradiction to the open atmosphere of constructively critical readings of our life and times which we so much need in South Africa today.

Of course, every country has state secrets, and needs to classify them as such and protect them. I fully understand this. That South Africa needs to replace the old law from apartheid times, I also fully agree. Yet I also hear the cry that the current bill passed this week lacks the one necessary thing, an adequate public interest clause that relates to the criminality of those who ”˜transgress’ on these grounds.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, South Africa

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Condemns "Thuggery" Against Zimbabwean Church

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, said today that the dispute within the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe was “a result not of schism but of thuggery.”

In a statement issued after visiting Zimbabwe with Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury at the weekend, Archbishop Makgoba said members of a pro-Mugabe breakaway faction of the church under deposed bishop Nolbert Kunonga were being “helped to steal church property without recourse.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Violence, Zimbabwe

(ACNS) Church of Southern Africa to join campaign to end violence against women, children

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa will next week officially join an international campaign to end violence against women and girls known as the White Ribbon Pledge campaign.

At the Women’s Day service at St Georges Cathedral Cape Town on Tuesday (9th August), the bishops of the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay and Saldanha Bay will be signing a pledge on behalf of their churches “Not to commit, condone or remain silent about all forms of Gender-based violence.”

The White Ribbon Campaign aims to eradicate gender based violence. A statement from the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town announcing this event states that “Violence and particularly gender-based violence in all its forms is an endemic reality of South African society” and calls everyone to action.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Children, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Violence, Women