Churches tackle Zuma’s ANC

2012-04-07 18:08

South African church leaders and their congregations have felt ­increasingly alienated from the ANC since President Jacob Zuma took office.

Senior clerics have accused the ruling party of trying to impose “state theology” – co-opting church leaders who support the ANC to serve the party.

This is according to a letter to the ANC from Kairos Southern Africa, a group of ministers and theologians.

The document, titled “Theological and ethical reflections on the 2012 Centenary Celebrations of the African National Congress: A word to the ANC in these times”, was delivered to the ANC in February and presented to the party’s national executive committee meeting of March 23 and 24.

More than 300 church leaders and theologians signed the document, Kairos coordinator Reverend Edwin Arrison told City Press.

Authors and signatories of the Kairos document come from a range of traditional churches, which include the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Apostolic Faith Mission, Uniting Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, United Congregational, Evangelical Lutheran and Ethiopian Episcopal churches.

In its letter to the ANC, Kairos reminded Zuma’s leadership of how former president Nelson Mandela saw the church as a partner in the reconstruction and development of society, and how his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, developed that relationship into the ­Religious Working Group that partnered with government.

“The latest development, of ­rewards for those who support the ANC, especially during elections, comes closer to the concept of state theology, where some church leaders are at the service of the party in a party political sense rather than at the service of the people.

The prophetic voice dies at the altar of the party and turns church leaders into uncritical praise singers of the party.”

The document decries widespread corruption in the ANC-led government, the ANC’s intolerance to criticism and factionalism.

The head of the ANC’s subcommittee on religious and traditional affairs, Mathole Motshekga, said the ANC still valued the contribution of religious leaders in the same way the party did during apartheid.

“There is no doubt in the mind of the leadership of the ANC that churches should play an important role in society.”

» Tell us what you think: Leave your comment below or comment on our Facebook page or on Twitter @City_Press

» Did you know? City Press has an iPad app. Find us in the app store

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.