The history of Belhar
Keywords:Confession of Belhar, apartheid, church unity, Dutch Reformed Churches
AbstractThis article tells the story of the Confession of Belhar. It traces its origin and describes the events that lead up to the confession. In this regard reference is made to the important role played by students, various church leaders, church communities and church meetings. The way in which the apartheid policy in South Africa constituted a status confessionis for the churches is also described. Furthermore, the article chronicles the development of the concept-confession and the final acceptance of the Confession of Belhar in 1986. The story of the Confession of Belhar is also placed within the context of the broader challenge of church unity and unification. The last section outlines the current status of the Confession of Belhar within the family of Dutch Reformed Churches. Throughout the article there is an emphasis on the fact that Belhar challenges Christians and churches to live out that which they believe and confess.
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