Racism and the Development of Pentecostalism in South Africa: A Socio-Historical Analysis





Colonialism, Apartheid, racism, development, Pentecostalism


The historical role of the church in South Africa regarding the development of colonial racism and apartheid is well documented. South African Christianity and the concomitant ecclesiastical developments and counter-developments were directly influenced by the changing socio-political circumstances. The mainline or historical churches, including Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians, were members of the South African Council of Churches that rejected and opposed apartheid. Some Pentecostal denominations were fundamentalists who believed personal salvation and private prayer would save the country. In practice, these Pentecostal churches were either largely silent or apolitical about the apartheid situation, or they isolated and segregated themselves. In reality, whether they acknowledged it or not, they were part and parcel of the system of white benefit and black oppression. This paper, therefore, attempts to investigate this phenomenon and also to put forward a theological praxis in the context of diversity.


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Author Biographies

Mookgo Solomon Kgatle, University of South Africa

Senior Lecturer, Christian Spirituality, Church History, Missiology

Moses Hobe, University of South Africa

Moses Hobe (PhD, North- West University) is an ordained minister, theological educator and a public theologian 


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How to Cite

Kgatle, Mookgo Solomon, and Moses Hobe. “Racism and the Development of Pentecostalism in South Africa: A Socio-Historical Analysis”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 15 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2412-4265/13730.



Received 2023-05-23
Accepted 2024-06-03
Published 2024-06-14