Anniversary of the Launch of the Kairos Document, 25 September 1985

Khulumani acknowledges the role played by the churches in participating in the struggle to end apartheid.

A particularly important milestone in that struggle was the adoption by some churches meeting in Rustenburg in September 1985, of the Kairos document. 

We join with others in remembering the powerful contributions made by the church in the struggle for social, political and economic justice that continues today.

We join Kairos Southern Africa in remembering a significant moment in our shared struggle.

Remembering the launch of the Kairos document on 25 September 1985

Article by Kairos Southern Africa:

Today we give thanks to God for those courageous theologians who publicly launched the Kairos document in 1985  (see , boldly challenging the practice of faith and spirituality of a certain version of Christianity that tries to be neutral in situations of extreme violence and repression.

We thank God for the spirit of discernment that accompanied the writing and formulation of this document and mostly the courage to stand with the oppressed and to embody the unity (not only solidarity) of Christ with those who are the marginalised and the oppressed.

We pray for a similar discernment process today and a similar level of courage so that our democracy (and all other democracies) does not become one for the elites only, but a democracy that is built on a spirit of service and unity with those who still have to struggle for sanitation, good education, health and safety.

Is a new “State theology” the theology of those who accept mediocrity from the State, who measures “our corruption” with the corruption of Apartheid and thinks it is fine and even blesses it (simply by keeping silent about it), and who treat the poor with disdain? 

What does the new “church theology” look? Are we still mincing our words and trying to maintain a false peace and false reconciliation while in fact blessing forms of tribalism simply by our denominationalism?

And “where have all the prophets gone”? How do we discern afresh the finger of God in history today? What does Christian spirituality look like today?

By the time we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Kairos document in 2015, we should have reflected deeply on these questions and emerge stronger saying “thus says the Lord”……


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