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Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa$
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Terence O. Ranger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174779.001.0001

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 From Apartheid to the New Dispensation

 From Apartheid to the New Dispensation

Evangelicals and the Democratization of South Africa

(p.191) 6 From Apartheid to the New Dispensation
Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa

Terence O. Ranger

Anthony Balcomb

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role evangelicals have played and continue to play in the democratization of South Africa before and after the demise of apartheid. Because of the immense ambivalence, variation, and complexity of evangelicalism's relationship to democratization, this question is addressed by offering a typology of five different evangelical responses to the political situation in South Africa, before and after April 27, 1994. Each response is illustrated by a case study of an evangelical leader and a church or movement associated with that leader. It is shown that despite theological similarities, the nature and content of evangelical political interventions differ considerably. They vary from active opposition to change and preservation of the status quo, to apparent neutrality and indifference, to active participation in the democratic processes of change, including the formation of an evangelical political party, the ACDP.

Keywords:   evangelicalism, ACDP, democracy, South Africa, evangelical leaders, churches, activism

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