Bredasdorp: a deep south road trip

News of the violent displacement of foreign nationals (mostly Zimbabwean and Malawian) in the Overberg (Southern Cape) town of Bredasdorp inspired members of the Cape Town’s interfaith communities to take a deep south road trip.

We made contact with two faith based organisations and drew up a quick list of what was needed, being toiletries, children’s clothes and bedding. Food was further down the list. Many Capetonians responded generously and our vehicle was choc-a-block with provisions and good wishes.

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Weaponising John 14:6

No other Christian text embodies the simplistic idea that Christianity is the sole exclusively correct religion that Jesus’ words in John 14:6:

“I am the way and the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me.”

Gospel of John 14:6

In embracing an interfaith awareness, and appreciating what other religions and beliefs have to offer the world, I have noted how often and predictably this text is employed to point out the inferred error of my ways. It is usually whipped out with almost breezy assurance, that of unquestioning, total and complete monopoly on “The Truth”.

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As grows harmony, so does terror

City of Cape Town Councilor Mark Kleinschmidt re-affirms the Charter for Compassion while Bishop Gqwaka looks on.

The seven days of World Interfaith Harmony Week, give or take a few, are over. In Cape Town we are left to reflect on a burgeoning energy that has been simmering for several years and is now approaching a critical mass.

This last week saw an interfaith hike, an international poetry collaboration, various online meetings between faith groups, a multi-faith prayer gathering on the Cape Flats, and the re-commitment to the Charter for Compassion by many groups including representation from the City of Cape Town itself.

And not a moment too soon, for at the same time, we live in a city and country in disarray, with dark forces underfoot, seemingly bent on anarchy and destruction.

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