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South African church bars blacks

South African church bars blacks
June 26
19:46 2017
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The Afrikaanse Protestante Kerk church in Orania, South Africa, on Sunday barred two black journalists from attending service in the church.

The journalists, who were on an assignment and decided to attend a Sunday service before returning to Pretoria were intercepted by a church leader, identified Theunis Oukamp and told “the church is only for whites”.

Orania is an Afrikaans-only South African town located along the banks of the Orange River, in the arid Karoo region of the Northern Cape province.

Oukamp reportedly said allowing black people into an all-white church would be violating the “rights of Afrikaans people”.

“I am now in a difficult situation. You know that Orania is only for white people, this is why we are here,” he said.

“You must understand I know you want to serve God and everything but I have to protect the rights of Afrikaans people.

“So I cannot let you in, you guys can go to any other church, but this one is only for white people.”

However, Langton Ndlovu, a Christian faithful, described the move as “demonic and unacceptable”, adding that there should be no discrimination in the church.

“This is demonic, in this day and age, I never thought this was real. That’s unacceptable. I wonder how they read the scripture that says “there is neither Greek nor Jew” but we’re one in Christ,” said Ndlovu.

Sarel Roets, a member of the church, said, “I’m very upset that my church did this, it’s not right. I’ve already sent the reverend a message. From me, I’m sorry, it’s completely unacceptable. We still have problems in Orania, this is one of the problems.”

Patrick Shole, president of the South Africa Union Council of Independent Churches, expressed shock that there was still segregation in the church 23 years after apartheid ended.

“We don’t discriminate in church because before God we are one – whether white or black. I find it weird that we still have discrimination in the church,” Shole said.

Meanwhile, James Kemp, the church’s spokesperson, said Oukamp acted out of line with the church’s policy, and promised that an internal process would take place.

“The sensitivity of the Orania church is that over the last few years they have had six journalists visiting the congregation and it had a negative impact in the media. It was mainly European publications,” Kemp said.

He added that there was a need to educate congregants on how visitors should be treated.

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Copyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.
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