The Church and Migration during Apartheid Times: Roman Catholic Missionaries Banned from Former Homeland of Qwaqwa – Witsieshoek




Apartheid, Qwaqwa, missionaries, homeland, migration, Witsieshoek


The unjust policies of the apartheid government, which came to power in 1948, made the proclamation of the message of the Gospel difficult for the Roman Catholic missionaries. Catholicism has always determined to communicate the Gospel in ways that engender transformation. However, the apartheid laws in South Africa hindered foreign missionaries from reaching out to the communities which were on the periphery.  There was an element of the Roomse gevaar in the apartheid policies. The idea of the ‘Roomse gevaar’ (the Roman Danger) prevailed in the Afrikaans-speaking community and the corridors of the apartheid regime.

This article presents a historical survey of attitudes towards the missionaries of the Catholic Church in the Eastern Free State during the apartheid regime. It further investigates the impact of the Catholic Church on historical developments in the former Basotho homeland. This research adopts a combination of socio-historical and narrative approaches. The data-gathering technique is the main source of historical books, unpublished and Internet materials. The research is conducted in the form of a comparative Literature study. It draws from Literature on the historical book Patience Our Daily Bread – The Catholic Church in the Orange Free State and Kimberley from 1850 in the work of Professor J.B. Brain as the main source and my Thesis titled: The mission of God’s people in the light of God’s mission. A Missiological case study on the Catholic Church of Bethlehem, South Africa, and other sources will be incorporated into the discussion. The Eastern Free State is the area of focus, with the Qwaqwa homeland being the main focus.


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Fr Michael Atoro. 16 January 2024. Telephonically.

Bishop Jan De Groef. 14 October 2023, at Bishop’s House.




How to Cite

Mofokeng, Dikotsi William. “The Church and Migration During Apartheid Times: Roman Catholic Missionaries Banned from Former Homeland of Qwaqwa – Witsieshoek”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 11 pages.



Received 2024-01-31
Accepted 2024-04-08
Published 2024-05-31