South Africa - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religious Practices

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 17 pages of information about South Africa.
This section contains 4,960 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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South Africa

POPULATION 43,647,658
CHRISTIAN 74.1 percent
TRADITIONAL 18.3 percent
MUSLIM 1.4 percent
HINDU 1.3 percent
JEWISH 0.2 percent
OTHER 4.7 percent

South Africa

Country Overview

Under apartheid the government tacitly tolerated the practice of non-Christian religions. Christianity, especially the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church, or DRC), enjoyed unparalleled support from the government. As the church of the government, the DRC had a powerful political role in South Africa and gave unquestioned legitimacy to apartheid.

In the last three decades of the twentieth century, however, a new interfaith union of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and secularists surfaced at the funerals of victims of state brutality. This ecumenical movement established unprecedented common moral foundations and a platform from which to oppose apartheid. Because apartheid was a common enemy, there was a decline in religious particularity and a greater emphasis on religious humanism and universalism. Out of the wreckage of apartheid a new South Africa, with...

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This section contains 4,960 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the South Africa Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religious Practices
South Africa from Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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