Republic of South Africa
In 1994 South Africa held its first democratic national elections, ending centuries of white minority rule and decades of institutionalized racial segregation known as apartheid. Since then South Africa’s 49 million people have struggled to address the legacies of apartheid: poverty, inequality and racial division. In addition, the nation is at the epicenter of the HIV and AIDS pandemic with an estimated 5.5 million people — 18.9 percent of the adult population — living with HIV.
The PC(USA)’s South African partners are also grappling with these challenges. The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, formed in 1999 through the merger of the (black) Reformed Presbyterian Church in South Africa and the (predominantly white) Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, is striving to model greater racial and economic justice in its own structures. The Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, made up of the former African and “colored” branches of the segregated Dutch Reformed Church, is exploring unity with the denomination's historically white wing. The South African Council of Churches, a fellowship of 27 denominations, fights for care and compassion for all affected by HIV and AIDS, supports poverty eradication initiatives and promotes justice, reconciliation and healing. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa and the Presbyterian Church of Africa are also bringing the good news of the gospel to poor and marginalized communities throughout South Africa.
The PC(USA) joins in its partners’ ministries through mission personnel and several presbytery partnerships. The Joining Hands Initiative of the Presbyterian Hunger Program accompanies Sisonke Masilwe Indlala, a network of grassroots organizations working for land justice.
Republic of South Africa Partner Churches and Organizations
Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa
Presbyterian Church of Africa
South Africa Council of Churches (SACC)
The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa
Southern Africa/Lesotho Mission Network
The Southern Africa Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.