Suffering From Post-Apartheid Fatigue

Churches told they are not doing enough to reconcile South Africa.

South Africa's churches are suffering from "post-apartheid fatigue" and doing too little to promote reconciliation in the wake of apartheid's divisions, according to Dr Charles Villa-Vicencio, executive director of Cape Town's Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.Dr Villa-Vicencio was speaking to Ecumenical News International after taking part in a seminar in Copenhagen which was part of a two-week "Images of the World Festival". The seminar focused on the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by Desmond Tutu, former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and winner of the Nobel Peace Price. Dr Villa-Vicencio said the commission had led South Africa through a unique reconciliation process which probably saved the country from many years of continued violence and even civil war.Villa-Vicencio told ENI that although the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had attracted international praise, there was still much hard work to be done—and the churches were not fulfilling their obligations."Many of the churches, which were in the front in the anti-apartheid struggle, now seem to suffer from 'post-apartheid fatigue' and concentrate on spiritual matters. They could play an extremely important role in healing and reconciling our society, and mending the deep divisions among people, but they are not taking their role seriously."The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up to assist South Africa's transition from a racist, white-dominated nation to a fully democratic country. Its work took almost three years between December 1995 and October 1998. Villa-Vicencio worked as research director for the commission after holding the post of professor of religion and society at the University of Cape Town. ...

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Suffering From Post-Apartheid Fatigue
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