The church and its contributions to the struggle to liberate the Free State Province

  • B. Dube University of the Free State, South Africa
  • H. V. Molise Sol Plaatje University, South Africa
Keywords: Churches, Liberation struggle, Free State, Liberation theology, Mission schools, Apartheid, Kerke, Vryheidstryd, Vrystaat, Bevrydingsteologie, Sendingskole


The article outlines the contributions of the church to the liberation struggle in South Africa. In doing so, we limit the content to the contributions of church activities in the Free State. The point of departure is that the liberation of South Africa was not only a result of the barrel of the gun – instead, the barrel was complemented by various peaceful liberation forces, including the activities and the narratives of the church. The arguments of this article are based in decolonial theory, a discourse that sensitises understanding that the liberation of South Africa should not only be interpreted politically, but that liberation transcends politics to other spheres of life, and it involves total liberation and emancipation. Data in this article was collected through interviews and questionnaires, which focused mainly on the role of the church in the liberation of the Free State. In this article, it is argued that the place of the church in the post-1994 histories and narratives should be one of being a champion of social justice, equity and the fair distribution of resources, as well as playing a role to unmask corruption, which continues to subject the people of the Free State to poverty and marginalisation.


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