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South Africans draw hope despite recurring challenges

Gender-based violence and attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa have left communities wondering where to turn. In a visit of solidarity, a World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrim Team visited the nation from 7-12 December.

Churches in southern Africa stand against violence, xenophobia

Churches across southern Africa are publicly saying #EnoughIsEnough,” with many denominations and congregations continuing to issue strong statements, arrange special prayer events, and speak out against rising levels of violence.

Both the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) have been discussing gender justice and how to keep the momentum going on the unprecedented public demand for change.

When you strike the women, you strike a rock

As South Africa grapples with a gender-based violence crisis, president Cyril Ramaphosa is convening, on 18 September, the entire parliament for a special session on how to create a society in which women feel not only safe, but enjoy human rights equal to men. With 52,420 sexual offences reported in the last financial year - and many unreported - hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa are publicly saying “#EnoughIsEnough.” Churches and faith communities are a vocal, visible part of this call for change. Will the momentum grow? Will we stand with the women of South Africa?

“Love will find a way”

World Council of Churches leaders spoke on the theme “Hospitality: On a Pilgrim’s Way of Justice and Peace" at a symposium on 23 August at the Protestant Theological University Amsterdam.

Rev. Frank Chikane: Working together to heal wounds of conflict

‘Walking, praying and working together’ was the theme of Pope Francis’ 21 June visit to Geneva to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Among those listening to the Pope's words was Pentecostal pastor Rev. Frank Chikane, one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Ideas and advocacy of Brigalia Bam still vibrant today

Most South Africans know of Brigalia Bam as chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), where she served from 1999 to 2011. Previously secretary general of the South African Council of Churches, and already an IEC commissioner, she was chosen by then-President Nelson Mandela from the list of parliamentary nominees for this critical role. In a country that had recently been on the brink of racial civil war, she guided South Africans with humour, tolerance and impartiality along the path of inclusive democracy.