Far right religious groups advocating a return to white rule and supremacy are finding a place in South Africa.
The Times of London (June 26) reports that “Scores of right-wing religious groups, more reminiscent of US-style cults than conventional churches, have sprung up preaching a gospel of white supremacy to a growing army of believers, 10 years after the collapse of white minority rule.” Although the groups are quite different from each other, they share a common belief that black majority rule is a punishment imposed on the Afrikaner people by God for disobedience, and “that one day the white man will be returned to his rightful place as ruler.”
A version of British Israelism, which claims whites as the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, also figures in these groups’ doctrines. One such group is Living Hope (or Lewende Hoop) based in Kroonstad. Run by Rev. Willie Smith, a former Baptist minister, the group claims to have 30 congregations with 6,000 worshippers and condemns racial intermixing and holds that God ordained white rule. Smith says he doesn’t want to overthrow the government and counsels members to “wait for deliverance from the Lord.”