South Africa's biggest churches face a serious challenge from black leaders calling for a new militant church to help blacks overcome what they see as racism and oppression.
LV ZOOM TO GV: St Peters Seminar building at Hammanskraal (2 shots)
SV AND GV INTERIOR: Meeting in progress Delegates seated at tables. (3 shots)
CU: Doctor Allan Boesak, churchman, speaking in English
CU: Bishop Desmond Tutu speaking in English
BOESAK: "One of the most significant things that has happened at this conference is the fact that black Christians here at the Consultation have flatly told white Christians that they can no longer be part of a church with such clear race structures, and they want very clear and fundamental changes within the churches in South Africa - which means that if this does not happen they will, after twelve months, feel themselves compelled to form what has been termed here a Confessing Militant Church in South Africa. The challenge is clear, the impatience of black Christians is also very clear and now it is up to white Christians to take up this challenge and to move into the Christian church in this country to begin to do what we feel should have begun a long time ago."
TUTU: "The church cannot be neutral, it's got to be a church that takes sides and confessing means that the church has got to take seriously the fact of suffering. If you are going to identify with the poor and the oppressed then you have go to be aware where the victims are and it may be that many more people are going to have to experience a crucifixion through imprisonment, through banning and through even death and I think that certainly the Consultation has taken this seriously."
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Background: South Africa's biggest churches face a serious challenge from black leaders calling for a new militant church to help blacks overcome what they see as racism and oppression. The church leaders issued the ultimatum at the Hammanskraal Consultation to Combat Racism, held near Pretoria on Thursday (14 February).
SYNOPSIS: The suggestion followed recent criticism of South Africa's multiracial churches for their failure to oppose racism effectively. The General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Bishop Desmond Tutu, says the Christian church has to be biased in favour of the 'poor, despised and voiceless'. The Bishop says neither the black nor the white church is preparing South Africa for challenge. He expands on that theme, after Doctor Allan Boesak, the Chairman of the Dutch Reformed Broederkring, identifies the problems.