The racial crisis in South Africa spilled over onto the ecclesiastical front this month.

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town demanded a curtailment of ecumenical ties with South Africa’s Dutch Reformed communion unless it repudiates apartheid (racial segregation). Also:

—Two Anglican missionaries were jailed after police broke up a mass demonstration in Johannesburg.

—The Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg fled the country to avoid arrest for his active opposition to the government’s apartheid policy.

Chief targets of criticism from antiapartheid clergy leaders were the Dutch Reformed churches, in the membership of which are many government officials including Prime Minister Hendrik F. Verwoerd.

Dr. Joost de Blank, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, charged that many Africans are turning against the Christian church on the grounds it is associated with white oppression.

De Blank singled out the Dutch Reformed churches as chief offenders and called on them to “repudiate the policy of apartheid and its tragic outworkings in the disturbances of March and April.” Otherwise, he said, “it is essential that other churches should no longer be associated with them in any council or federation.”

The archbishop has long been critical of the Dutch Reformed race policies. During a trip to the United States in 1958, he ruffled tempers when, in the course of denouncing the segregationist stand of the Dutch Reformed church in South Africa, he attributed to it “a warped and inaccurate Calvinistic outlook.”

De Blank was to have paid a return visit to the United States this month, but cancelled plans when disorders broke out.

Instead, he sent Archdeacon Cecil T. Wood on a tour of several countries. Wood’s first stop was the World Council of Churches headquarters ...

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