Vereniger en opheffer: die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Rhodesië (1890 - 2007)
MetadataShow full item record
In the missionary and church history of Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe) the Dutch Reformed church did not concentrate exclusively on the unity of the local Afrikaner community, but also played a pivotal role in the upliftment of the indigenous population. Ever since the coming into being of Rhodesia during the 1890’s, Afrikaner immigrants had brought with them their Christian values and religion. Rhodesia being pre-eminently an Englishspeaking colony of the British Empire until 1965, the Dutch Reformed Church considered it necessary to serve its Afrikaner members, thereby acting as a stronghold against Anglicisation and assimilation. Since 1895 Dutch Reformed congregations were established across the entire country as a reflection of their fellow countrymen in Africa. Between 1890 and 1980 the Dutch Reformed Church in Rhodesia would play an instrumental role in the spiritual life of many Afrikaners. At the same time the Dutch Reformed Church extended its missionary work to the black people – not merely to convert them to the Christian-Calvinist faith, but also to uplift them socioeconomically by means of education and the establishment of self-sufficient congregations. In this article the two-fold role of the Dutch Reformed Church in Rhodesia in unifying and uplifting both Afrikaners and indigenous peoples is analised.