n HTS : Theological Studies - Post-independent mainline churches in Africa (1975-2000)

Volume 60, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



The Second World War was in many ways a watershed in African social and political development. Drafted by their colonial rulers into fighting for world democracy and freedom, Africans were inspired with determination to achieve this same goal for them. The ensuing struggle against colonialism eventually led to the independence of most sub-Saharan African countries in the 1960's. Following on the heels of the Second World War came the collapse of the whole colonial system. The only remaining factor in the liberation process was South Africa, which withdrew from the British Commonwealth in 1961 because of criticism of its apartheid policy and only became a full democracy in 1994. Because of the fact that the former colonial world was located in the southern hemisphere, the confrontation took on a north-south character. Mainline churches in post independent Africa responded in different ways to this changing configuration of the world, and in spite of secularizing trends and the resurgence of rival religions they remained as major players in the world stage.

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