The World Council of Churches Programme to Combat Racism: A South African response changes in global mission policy

Graham Alexander Duncan



The introduction of the Special Fund of the Programme to Combat Racism (PCR) by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1970 was a natural expression of international opposition to racism. It also indicated a change in global mission policy from mission as a traditional evangelical activity to the emerging paradigm of mission as God’s activity in the world. Though focussed in Africa and South Africa, in particular, the controversial PCR drew the ire of the apartheid government and many white members of Churches of European origin (CEO), gaining support mainly from black church members and churches. This article attempts to analyse the origin, process and outcome of this heavily contested programme in one particular white dominated CEO, the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, spearheaded by its Ecumenical Relations Committee, which came to radically different conclusions from the majority of the church membership regarding the nature, purpose and function of the church.




Church and Nation (C&N) Committee, Churches of European origin (CEO), Ecumenical Relations Committee, Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, Programme to Combat Racism (PCR), World Council of Churches (WCC)

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