Verbum et Ecclesia
On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982
FARISANI, Elelwani B.. The challenges facing Lutherans in South(ern) Africa. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.1, pp.01-05. ISSN 2074-7705.
This article seeks to discuss what the future appears to hold for Lutheranism in South Africa. In order to do this, it is important to look at the past through the history and involvement of Lutheranism in South Africa. This will show the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities for Lutheran theology and the Lutheran churches in South Africa in relation to Lutheranism in its global context. Accordingly the article starts off by providing a brief history of Lutheranism in South Africa, examining the role of missionaries from Germany, Norway and Sweden in establishing Lutheranism in South Africa. The article also looks at how apartheid divided the faithful along racial lines, thereby pointing to the challenges, weaknesses, as well as the strengths of the mission of Lutheran churches in this part of Africa. It then moves on to discuss some challenges before Lutheranism in South Africa today. Some of the challenges discussed in this article are as follows: (1) efforts to unite the Black and White Lutherans have so far not succeeded, (2) the role of Lutheran theological education in equipping ministers to address current societal challenges, (3) financial sustainability, (4) African Religious Pluralism, (5) the promotion of gender sensitivity and equality amongst Lutheran congregants, (6) ethnicity and (7) the role and status of self-supporting ministry. And, finally, the article highlights few issues about the changing world of Lutheranism globally.