Page 5, 5th November 1954

5th November 1954
Page 5
Page 5, 5th November 1954 — `Be silent' threat to missionaries

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Locations: Johannesburg, Cape Town


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`Be silent' threat to missionaries

A CIRCULAR letter signed by the South African Secre

P‘tary of Native Affairs, aimed at silencing opponents of the Government's racial segregation policy, is regarded as a further threat to missionary efforts.

The circular declared that leases of sites to churches in urban Native areas may be cancelled if the occupier or his representative does anything to "encourage deterioration in the relationships between Natives and the Government." •

Under the Group Areas Act, certain areas are gradually being designated as limited solely either to Europeans or Natives. In a statement last spring, Bishop Whelan of Johannesburg warned that the law, when fully implemented, will enforce residential segregation of different race groups and seriously affect the Church, Some people in Cape Town point out that any criticism of the Government or the advocacy of any doctrine contrary to the official policy for segregating the races might easily be interpreted as "encouraging deterioration."

They say that any action taken on this score by the Minister of Native Affairs will leave no room for an appeal to the courts or to the facts of the case.

This means that missionaries with liberal views on race relations in the Union will have to be careful what they say or run the risk of being ejected from their churches.

`Alien' ideology

The Johannesburg correspondent of the Observer states that on the ground that the establishment of a Catholic nursing home would constitute a danger to the Protestant community. the Dutch Reformed Church has demanded that the town council of Kroonstad (Orange Free State) reject the Catholic request for permission to purchase the site for the building.

-A deputation of three Reformed Church ministers, who waited on the council. accused the Catholics of undermining the Christian religion and practising an ideology 'alien to South African policy.'

"A member of the provincial executive has warned the municipality that it may lose proposed large-scale extensions to the Kroonstad state hospital if the Catholic project is approved,"

Another report in the Observer says that the Bishops of South Africa have called for a crusade to save the 775 Catholic Bantu schools which are attended by 119,000 children and served by 2,333 African and European teachers.

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