A church leader told two black men that allowing them into an all-white church would be a violation of the “rights of Afrikaans people”. Photo Credit: The Cable

A church leader told two black men that allowing them into an all-white church would be a violation of the “rights of Afrikaans people”. Photo Credit: The Cable

Afrikaanse Protestante Kerk, a South African church, recently told Black worshipers that they are not welcome to attend Sunday service with the rest of the congregation.

Based in Orania, South Africa, the Afrikaanse Protestante Kerk (Afrikaans Protestant Church, APK) barred two Black journalists from attending church service, according to the Cable.

The journalists, who were on assignment in the area and decided to attend a Sunday service before returning to Pretoria, were reportedly turned back by a church leader who told them “the church is only for Whites.”

Afrikaners is the ethnic grouping used to describe the direct descendants of Europeans, mostly Dutch settlers, who arrived in South Africa around the 17th and 18th centuries.

They dominated much of South Africa’s economy and politics prior to 1994, when their harsh policy of racial segregation from the rest of the Black African majority, known as Apartheid, was dismantled.

The church leader — later identified as Theunis Oukamp — told the men that allowing Black people into an all-White church would be violating the “rights of Afrikaans people.”

“I am now in a difficult situation. You know that Orania is only for White people. This is why we are here,” Oukamp said.

“You must understand I know you want to serve God and everything, but I have to protect the rights of Afrikaans people.

“So I cannot let you in, you guys can go to any other church, but this one is only for White people.”

Racist Town Post-Apartheid

In January, Face2Face Africa published a story on Orania, an Afrikaans-only South African townlocated along the banks of the Orange River in the arid Karoo region of the Northern Cape province.

Established in 1994 — while the rest of the world was celebrating the end of Apartheid in South Africa — the town of less than 2,000 residents has become a so-called stronghold for White South Africans who wish to protect their Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive.

To date, no Black South African or any other person who is not an Afrikaner is allowed to reside in Orania town, even if they speak Afrikaans or are married to an Afrikaner.

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SOURCE:  
Face2Face Africa