Between war and peace : the Dutch Reformed Church as agent for peace 1990-1994
Author(s)Van der Merwe, J.M. (Johan Matthys)
KeywordsSouth Africa 1990-1994
General Constand Viljoen
Dutch Reformed Church
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The years between 1990 and 1994 can be described as some of the most violent years in the history of South Africa. Political turmoil en route to the first democratic election in 1994 brought the country to the brink of civil war. During these volatile times important role players emerged who helped to bring calmness and sanity to society. One of these important role players was the moderature of the Dutch Reformed Church. By engaging with the different role players and calling their members to calmness, the leadership of the church which was known for its biblical support of apartheid became an important agent of peace. This article gives an overview of the volatile 1990’s with special focus on the role of General Constand Viljoen, a member of the Dutch Reformed Church and leader of the right-wing Afrikaners. It then describes the role of the moderature of the Dutch Reformed Church in mediating peace en route to the election of 27 April 1994. Interviews with leading role players as well as non-published church documents serve as important sources for this article.
Van der Merwe, J 2014, 'Between war and peace : the Dutch Reformed Church as agent for peace 1990-1994', Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 85-103.