More than five decades after the relationship between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the South Africa-based Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA) was broken, the first approach towards the church resuming its WCC membership was taken with an informal meeting between the NHKA leadership and the WCC staff member in charge of membership matters.
Archpriest Dr Daniel Buda, WCC programme executive for Church and Ecumenical Relations met in Pretoria (South Africa) recently with the moderator and the Executive Council elected by the NHKA General Assembly in 2016, in order to discuss the work of the WCC, and the procedures and steps for readmission as a WCC member.
In his word of welcome, moderator Dr André Ungerer highlighted that his church is a founding member of the WCC. However, in the 1960s, the NHKA's support for the apartheid policy led to a breakdown in relations with the worldwide ecumenical fellowship and the church decided to leave the WCC.
The Dutch Reformed Church (South Africa) has a similar history: having withdrawn in 1961, it was readmitted as a member church at the WCC Central Committee in June 2016, following a consultative process that began in 2012.
Reinstatement of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church likened to "return of the prodigal son" (WCC press release of 13 October 2016)
Website of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (in Afrikaans)