The joy and the victory of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

University United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas

Saturday October 28, 9.30 – 4.00 pm Building Strategies for Reconciliation

Morning session

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A new way of forging human community, or a license for murder?

The journey from violence and war justified by reference to religion, or as a vehicle of state oppression, to a state of peace, through vehicles of active non-violence, is an exacting one. As Christians can we take up the challenge of being totally forgiving?

The example of this journey for a whole country is none more intriguing than the story of South Africa in the 1990’s. From violence to peace, through confession, forgiveness, reconciliation, how did this happen?

Why did South Africa, the focus of a generation of Christian activism for justice, reach a political settlement which introduced democracy but forgave murder and torture?

What kind of society would we have if people weren’t held accountable for their actions? Does our faith require that we forgive and forget?

What can we learn from this in the USA today?

For a thought-provoking presentation and discussions on these and other questions, come and hear John Allen, formerly head of communications of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a long-time aide to Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu.

Saturday October 28 10.00am to 12.30pm UUMC Sanctuary.

In the morning , the witness to a peace making process, in the afternoon, the man who lead it.