Apartheid And Racial Oppression In South Africa Essay

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Religious critics have often accused Christian missionaries for the initiation of Apartheid in South Africa. However, when looking into the events preceding its introduction, many situations appear to have contributed to the system of Apartheid, enforced by the National Party in 1948. There is evidence that both colonisation and Christian missionaries had significant impact upon the interaction and then segregation of the Afrikaners and the indigenous population. Along with the German-led ideology based upon Charles Darwin's race theory, the missionaries, and complaints from Afrikaners about the continuing lack of available employment for labourers had an impact on the formation of Apartheid. Eventually, as a result of the new system of segregation and oppression, African people who were growing increasingly resistant to colonialism and imperialism by the Europeans, were eventually able to effectively use Christianity as a means of liberation, finally becoming successful in the early 1990s.

There are several events which appear to have contributed to segregation and the introduction of Apartheid, which was enforced by the National Party in South Africa. One such event occurred in South-West Africa, at the beginning of the 20th century. The German army, led by General Von Trotha, enforced what was to become Africa's “... first explicitly racial state and society” (Weitz, 1339) with the justification based upon Charles Darwins' race theory. One consequence of this German invasion of Namibia is that a large number of indigenous people died within military controlled camps. Official records show mortality rates of around 45%, though this number may be significantly higher (Weitz, 1339). During this time, missionaries voiced the opinion that there were both economic and spiritual reasons to oppose the German campaign, and were able to improve conditions within the camps, even though they were dealing with negative feedback from many other areas.


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