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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.36 no.2 Pretoria Out. 2010


The impact of apartheid on the educational endeavours of two missionary agencies



Frederick Hale

Department of English, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa




Numerous studies have shown how apartheid and the struggle against it influenced a range of Christian denominations and missionary agencies in South Africa, but these investigations have tended to ignore smaller denominations and missions. This article focuses on two of these denominations and missions: the Norwegian Mission Covenant and the Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America (after 1949 called The Evangelical Alliance Mission). Both were historically rooted in the premillennial revivalism of the Swedish-American evangelist Fredrik Franson. Their missionary workers reacted in various ways to the pressures that increased social engineering along racial lines put on their work among black South Africans. The Bantu Education Act of 1953 removed one of the pillars of their outreach programme - education. Some of their missionaries vigorously criticised apartheid, while others assumed a more passive attitude. This article also discusses the role of their eschatology and the rural/urban emphasis in their ministries in influencing their responses to apartheid.



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