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When you sit down for the offertory on Sundays, grateful to have nothing more to do than dig into your pocket or purse for money and listen to the choir, it is the first step in funding organizations whose existence you are probably unaware of. More damaging, most of the organizations your dollars are funding have a viewpoint with which you probably disagree. Most are simply the verbal arm of the church's viewpoint on disarmament, economics, Marxism, and democratic capitalism. Most of them, and their financing, are discussed in the Appendix.
At least two of the organizations your dollars are supporting, however, are also gathering support for bloody revolutionaries in Africa. These organizations are TransAfrica and the Washington Office on Africa. The African revolutionaries are the Southwest Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and the African National Congress. SWAPO and the African National Congress specialize in killing people and they are controlled by the Soviet Union, a country not known to have genuine people's liberation in mind when they support armed insurrection. Further, some money has been directly granted to both SWAPO and the African Congress by American denominations, as well as the National and World Council of Churches.
SWAPO is an army ostensibly dedicated to driving out the South Africans who occupy and govern Namibia. Its bases are located in Angola and Zambia, which border Namibia. Namibia also borders South Africa on the south and southeast and the Atlantic Ocean on the West. Namibia itself is a country slightly smaller than Texas and Oklahoma combined, and has a populat n of a little over a million, 85 percent of which are black. Almost all of the population are Christians; nearly half are Lutherans and another 10 percent are Anglicans. The rest are divided between Catholicism and other Protestant denominations.
The African National Congress is a terrorist organization Ostensibly dedicated to overthrowing South Africa's apartheid policies. After the organization was outlawed in South Africa, it created bases in Zambia and other bordering countries.
In the next few years these two groups may emerge victorious (and thoroughly bloody); if so, it will be, in part, because they were aided and abetted by the World Council of Churches and the United Methodist Church. The World Council gave the Congress $150,000 in 1980, $65,000 in 1982, $70,000 in 1983 and 1984 and $77,000 in 1985. SWAPO was granted $200,000 in 1980, $125,000 in 1981, $100,000 in 1982, $105,000 in 1983, $100,000 in 1984, and $110,000 in 1985. Both were granted money through the Special Program to Combat Racism.
Besides World Council funding, the Congress received $5,000 from the World Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in 1978. In 1981 Global Ministries gave $25,000 to the Congress, Women's Division, and in 1983 the Board gave a further $17,000 for a Congress day-care center. The Women's Division of Global Ministries gave $8,890 to SWAPO in 1982 for a "literacy program organized by women of SWAPO in refugee camps in Southern Angola."
Most of the special program funds do not come from the U. S., but from the governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and from designated contributions from individuals from every country. However, the World Council used $200,000 from its general fund to start the special program and asked member churches for $300,000 more. Further, the grants are distributed in the name of the World Council as a whole.
SWAPO and the Congress have sought funding at various times, the World Council claims, for their administrative and legal defense costs, broadcasting programs, maintenance of their various offices, and humanitarian needs. It denies that the organizations are Cornmunist or terrorist, and claims that their goal is free elections.
However, the Council admits that the grants are made without control of the manner in which they are spent. It proclaims that the antiracist contributions allow the World Council to "intervene in the redistribution of power beyond compassion."1
There is no question that South Africa apartheid policies are wrong or that South Africa has no legal right in Namibia. There is no question that apartheid is destructive to blacks in every way and morally destructive to whites who support the system. But both the African National Congress and SWAPO are controlled by the Soviets, and neither organization is interested in establishing democracy for anybody in South Africa or Namibia, black or white. It is likely that the lot of all Africans will be very greatly worsened if the African Congress is successful in overthrowing the regime in Pretoria or SWAPO is successful in forcing the South Africans out of Namibia.
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There is no need for the doubtful to depend upon this analysis. African National Congress members, for one, are more than happy to explain their position. Deumi Matabane, Congress spokesman, said in a 1985 television interview that the Congress is not interested in establishing democracy because "we have seen a lot of its weakness." Asked about Communist influence in the Congress he admitted, "We have them." When asked whether whites would be able to keep their property should the South African government be overthrown, he said, "They will maintain what they have, but we are going to make sure that the main pillars of the economy are going to be in the control of the State."2
In the meantime, the Congress vows to murder South Africa's white population. They urge blacks to make South Africa ungovernable through violence and are doing their best to train and supply South Africa's blacks with Soviet arms, including grenades and limpit mines. The arms are to be used in white suburbs against civilians. "We send people almost every day (to infiltrate). They are there," Chris Hani, the political commissar of the organization's military wing, has said. "I don't think, when the crunch comes, that very many whites will be prepared to die."3
Congress radio broadcasts also urge South African blacks to "identify (black) collaborators and enemy agents and deal with them." They must be eliminated or destroyed and "no mercy should be shown to them." Responding to this call for justice, hundreds of alleged collaborators have been lynched and burned to death.4
Typical of Congress tactics was an attack made on the headquarters of the South African Air Force in Pretoria in 1983. A "cream-colored Dodge" pulled into the loading zone on one of the capital's busiest streets, "moments before the rush hour." Six minutes later a bomb destroyed the car, killing nineteen people - mostly black civilians - and injuring more than two hundred.5 The same strategy was used again in 1985 when, during the rush hour, two car-bomb blasts killed three people in Durban. A Washington Post story declared that the attack had "flung automobiles into the air, hurled pedestrians to the ground . . . . "6
Other tactics used by the Congress have been the torching of businesses, bombing of railroad stations and tracks, attacks on police stations, a 1980 bank raid in which hostages were killed, and the murders of former National Congress members.
As of 1984, the South African government had acknowledged one hundred and ninety-seven armed attacks in the previous eight years, which included "25 assaults on industrial installations and power stations, 35 assassination attempts, 15 bombs, 30 assaults on police stations, government buildings and military centers and 33 attempts to sabotage railway lines."7
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Moreover, it is not theory that the Soviets control both the African Congress and SWAPO. The U.S. Senate chairman of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism declared in 1982 that both the African Congress and SWAPO are Soviet proxies and the Congress has been under the domination of the Communist Party of South Africa since World War II.8 Defectors from the Congress itself testified in 1972 (during trials of other Congress members) that they had been sent to the Soviet Union and trained for eight years.9
Congress supporters, including the World Council, justify their support of this organization by inferring that it is the only organization which truly opposes apartheid, That argument is propaganda. There are many blacks, such as Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Zulu tribal chief and chairman of the South African Black Alliance, South Africa's largest black organization, who also oppose apartheid. Buthelezi's organization supports peaceful change and a democratic structure of one man-one vote political institutions he claims most black Africans also support. The Congress, he charges, rejects the kind of constitutions that "go with Western industrial capitalism."10
Buthelezi's view is worthy of consideration. The Zulu nation staged the last armed struggle against the South Africans in 1906, and it was Buthelezi's uncle who founded the African Congress in 1912; Buthelezi's grandfather, King Dinuzulu, was the ANC's first patron.
Further, Buthelezi is a former member of the African Congress and served with ANC heroes Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Buthelezi claims that the lnkatha, the national cultural liberation movement which he founded in 1975, is structured on the original ideals of the African National Congress - the ideals of nonviolent opposition in which the African Congress believed until it was seduced by Marxism-Leninism.
SWAPO also falsely advertises itself as the only organization fighting South Africa. It is not. There are eleven major political parties which struggle against the South African occupation of Namibia. SWAPO is ust the only group which practices terrorism.
Morumba Kerina, SWAPO's cofounder and its first national chairman, confirmed in a 1984 interview that SWAPO is a Soviet-trained army and "an instrument for promoting Soviet interests in Southern Africa." Besides being a Soviet tool, SWAPO is a terrorist organization, Kerina said, charging that SWAPO assassinates its opponents. Documents in the hands of the U.S. government, he said, suggest that Sam Nujoma, now head of SWAPO, issued the order for the 1978 assassination of Chief Clemens Kapuuo, a moderate antiapartheid leader. SWAPO has assassinated many other political opponents, Kerina said.11
Over one thousand Namibians, largely black, have been killed or maimed by SWAPO in acts of terror, Kerina charged. SWAPO often places claymore mines along highways, and whole families are abducted in SWAPO raids in order to force the men to fight in the guerrilla army. Many abducted children are taken to Angola and to the Island of Youth in Cuba where they are indoctrinated, he said.12
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The World Council's position on its support for these guerrillas is particularly unjustified if the situation in Namibia is properly understood. SWAPO is not fighting a hopeless situation, nor are they fighting a totally repressive government. A group of Western nations, led by the United States, is attempting to negotiate free elections under United Nations supervision and control. These nations are also attempting to negotiate a ceasefire by both South African troops and SWAPO and restrictions on the South African army and Namibian armed forces.
South Africa originally said it would cooperate, but then said it does not want to withdraw from Namibia (where it has ruled since 1919) until the estimated thirty-five thousand Cuban troops - which prop up the Angolan regime - are committed to leaving. The Angolan government, formerly a Portuguese colony, has been Marxist-Leninist since the late seventies and stays in power with the aid of the Cubans and about fifteen hundred Soviet advisors. South Africa does not want to withdraw until it feels that there is no Cuban threat to Namibia and South Africa. They would also like to see an end to the Cuban and Angolan protection of SWAPO terrorists and their bases.
In the meantime, the South African government has offered to seek legislation in the parliament authorizing an interim administration with limited autonomy. It is now creating, with a commission composed of Namibian political parties, a new constitution. The administration would have a council of ministers and a constituent assembly with the power to pass a bill of rights, set up a constitutional court, and create a council that could draft a constitution. Foreign policy and defense measures would stay under South African control and all legislation would require approval from the administrator general.
An administrator general is now appointed by the South African government, but there are elected bodies which represent, and semiautonomously govern, different parts of the population in the education and public health areas. Apartheid was officially ended in 1978, but whites do enjoy better facilities, and schools and hospitals are largely segregated. The blacks are a much poorer group than the whites, and their education is largely inferior. But there is hope that this situation will change in the foreseeable future.
Spokesmen for the South African government claim they want nothing more than to withdraw from Namibia since South Africa is carrying a "heavy financial burden" by staying in the country. South Africa is supplying 98 percent of the entire Namibian budget, only 37 percent of which is earmarked for the armed forces. The major amount of the budget is for the maintenance of roads, railways, harbors, and schools. More than a billion rands are expended yearly for this budget, they say, more than any resource income they could take out of the country.13
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SWAPO And The Soviets
It is very clear that change is not something that SWAPO puts its faith in, nor necessarily a situation which it desires. Kerina represented SWAPO at the United Nations from its beginning in 1959 to 1963, but was forced to leave the organization because of growing Soviet influence. After being banned from returning to Namibia, he was influential in the Botswana independence movement. He is now president of the Namibia Democratic Coalition, which maintains a nonviolent struggle against South African occupation.
SWAPO's representative to the U.S., Kerina pointed out, has said SWAPO is "anti-capitalist." SWAPO's political manual states, "The ideas of socialist orientation . . . have become our way of life.... Marxism-Leninism is therefore proving to be the only theory enabling all the oppressed and exploited classes to carry out their historical mission (e.g. the destruction of the rule of capital and of the system of exploitation of man by man)."14
Kerina said he can speak "authoritatively" because he was the one who originally began sending students to the U.S.S.R. By the time Kerina began to suspect SWAPO had taken the wrong course it was too late: "SWAPO was by then dominated by cadres trained in the Soviet bloc."15
Most of the SWAPO soldiers are Ovambos, a numerous tribe found both in Angola and in Namibia, constituting 51 percent of Namibian tribes. Most men who are willingly recruited into SWAPO, Kerina said, are tricked into believing Radio Luanda and Zambia, which promise free scholarships for SWAPO membership. Once recruited into the ranks, however, they are forced into military training. Many of these soldiers have returned to Namibia and are the source of the growing body of information about life in SWAPO.16
Namibian men who flee to refugee camps in Angola, which are administered by SWAPO (and paid for by the United Nations), are also pressed into service. As for those who refuse to serve in the SWAPO army, Kerina said, they are tried by "revolutionary tribunals." The sentence is usually death.17
The UN has officially recognized SWAPO as the future government of Namibia, and almost totally finances the organization - to the tune of millions each year. However, the recognition by the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations is a result of Soviet tactics, Kerina said. The Soviets used Libya to push a resolution through the Organization of African Unity for "the exclusive recognition of groups aligned with Moscow, excluding those that were purely nationalistic or pro-Peking. African Unity adopted the resolution after Libya threatened to stop contributing money and materials to the African Liberation Committee," Kerina said.18
Kerina's claims have been backed by United Nations documents in which Soviet diplomats have stated they use "active measures" in support of the National Congress and SWAPO. The Soviet document, dated March 31, 1981, states that "the Soviet Union has given and continues to give all-around support to the national liberation movements of southern Africa."19
Bulgaria's statements on southern Africa liberation movements is even more interesting. Bulgaria has stated that "Cadres of Southern Africa's national liberation movements are being trained in Bulgaria" and went on to report that its government provides treatment to wounded African National Congress and SWAPO terrorists and other kinds of help, both political and material.20
Statements from Hungary and the German Democratic Republic both boast of aid to SWAPO and the National Congress. Hungary stated that anything terrorists do is not terrorism if it is being used against "the colonialist terror of imperialism," and the Democratic Republic boasted that - since 1976 - they provided "solidarity goods" worth about "1,000 million marks," food, medicine, medical care for "wounded liberation fighters," clothing, tents, and training for "students and workers." The German Democratic Republic document also emphasized that country's relationship with National Congress president Oliver Tambo and SWAPO chief Sam Nujoma, both whom had visited East Berlin and opened offices in that capital.21
It is tragic enough that these groups kill people, but they also teach children to do the same. Many SWAPO camps in Angola, New York Times writer Bernard Nossiter reported in 1981, are filled exclusively with children under sixteen who are drilled in Communist propaganda. "Its residents have fled from the war in South-West Africa, and they are heavily indoctrinated to return as guerrillas," Nossiter wrote.22
If there was ever any doubt that SWAPO is Marxist-Leninist, Nossiter's story would dispel it. "As the visitors leave," the story said, "a contingent is brought from the adult women's camp. They are a chorus and imitate the breaking of chains. They sing: 'We are determined that Namibia must be free. Marxism and Leninism is our ideology, founded on scientific socialism.'"23
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The World Council Supports Terrorists
Unfortunately, the World Council of Churches cannot claim (should it feel like doing so) it has been deceived concerning the real nature of SWAPO and the African Congress. The World Council has a long history of supporting violent organizations. At the 1975 World Council Assembly in Nairobi an amendment stating that the churches ought not to support the Special Program to Combat Racism, unless there were assurances that funding would not be provided to organizations that would be likely to cause serious injury or the taking of life, was presented. The amendment was defeated 325 to 62, with twenty-two abstentions.
The World Council formally supported ZANU - an organization which sought to overthrow the Rhodesian government. The World Council's support for ZANU was both financial and moral, and all of it was unconscionable. ZANU's tactics were so bloody that the Anglican bishops of Mashonaland and Matabeland charged, in 1973, that it was using "naked terrorism." In a letter of protest to the World Council the bishops said the ZANU guerrillas "came out of the bush, surrounded farmhouses by night, sprayed them with bullets and heavier armaments, wounding occupants, chiefly children, and burning down houses of local Afficans."24
In 1974 the bishops again wrote the World Council, charging that ZANU had killed eighty-seven civilians. "Far and away the majority of these have been Africans, innocent of any offence and most have been killed with great brutality. Others have been abducted, raped, beaten and disfigured." The bishops also noted "with disgust" that the World Council had granted over six thousand pounds to ZANU that year.25
What the World Council did next is even more revealing. ZANU, and other black groups, finally succeeded in ousting the white government from Rhodesia and establishing an interim, democratic governnient. The interim government was composed of three black nationalist leaders and white prime minister Ian Smith. Its function was to establish a constitutional government which would guarantee the rights of all racial groups. Two of the black leaders, United Methodist Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Congregationalist minister Ndabaningi Sithole (president of ZANU), had been generously funded by the World Council in 1975 and 1976. When they joined the interim government, however, the funding stopped.
Instead, in 1978 the Special Fund to Combat Racism gave the Patriotic Front guerrillas, who were Marxists-Leninists who opposed the interim government, $85,000. This same organization had allegedly massacred thirty-five missionaries and their children over the preceding two years, had murdered two hundred and seven white civilians and seventeen hundred and twelve black civilians. This does not count two hundred and ninety-six civilians killed by terrorist mines. The World Council did not address the charges and did not stop the funding.26
When the grant was announced the Daily Telegraph of London commented, "In a way one could respect them more (the World Council) if they went to Africa themselves to murder missionaries and children rather than hired a pack of savages to do it for them."27
The Presbyterian Church of Ireland subsequently withdrew from the World Council in protest, and the Salvation Army withdrew in 1981 after the grant was announced. They charged that the World Council is guided by "politics rather than the gospel." The Salvation Army asked for "fraternal status" in place of membership, a move which allows them to send advisors to council meetings and to continue cooperation in inter-Christian aid, and medical and ecumenical work.28
FRELIMO, another Marxist-Leninist organization, was given over fifty thousand pounds by the World Council before they successfully overthrew the Mozambique government in 1975.
The World Council statements regarding the reaction of member churches to the grants have been cavalier, dismissing members leaving the Council with the comment, "But churches are joining and leaving the Council right along." It added that "No longer does the World Council take its cues only from its constituents in the privileged lands of the north."29
Although World Council position papers declare the Special Fund is meant to show the World Council's solidarity for the racially oppressed, it never mentions Vietnam's discrimination against the Chinese living in Vietnam or the persecution of the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua or the murder of groups of African blacks by other blacks. The narrative of abuses of blacks is endless and the atrocities are sickening: murders, tortures, death by burning, death by starvation, in Ethiopia, in Zaire, in Angola, in Mozambique. Uganda alone has accounted for millions of horrible deaths, tribe against tribe, political party against political party; and yet the World Council of Churches has said nothing about the general slaughter.
Further, the World Council does not hesitate to abandon its former allies when it finds other groups for which it has a better liking. When Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) guerrillas led by Joshua Nkoma and Robert Mugabe, leaders of the aforementioned Patriotic Front, were fighting the interracial interim regime, the Special Fund was generous. Now that Nkoma's Shona tribe are suffering persecution under Mugabe's Marxist-Leninist government, a persecution protested by the country's Catholic bishops, the World Council is silent - and no further money has been forthcoming from the Special Fund for Nkoma.
The most obvious question is whether the World Council can justify its financing of these organizations. In Chapter Two it is asserted that the state is not only justified in defending its population and territory, but obligated to do so. It is asserted that Christians can morally support national defense because under God's law the state is responsible for order and justice. Therefore, does it then follow that the church as a whole can morally and financially support violence which is ostensibly being used to establish freedom elsewhere?
First, there is a difference between Christians and the church. Christians compose the church and hopefully witness to the world: but the church is more than its membership. Christians are perfectly free to fight for freedom anywhere (and obliged to do so for their country in the face of unjust aggression) as citizens of states and of the world. But the church is not the state, nor a citizen of the state. It was established by Jesus to minister to, and evangelize, the world. The church is therefore the Bride of Christ and is not the combined opinions of its members or a participant in their civil duties.
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The Lesson Of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer provided an excellent example of the distinction between Christians as citizens and the Christian church. Bonhoeffer was a German theology professor who believed that the only way to save Christian civilization was to ensure Germany lost World War II. He became a leader in the "Confessing Church," a section of the Lutheran Church in Germany which actively opposed German National Socialism.
In 1939, when Bonhoeffer was thirty-three, he left Germany at the behest of worried friends and went to the United States. He returned after two weeks, however, stating that he did not deserve to take part in the reconstruction of German Christianity after the war if he did not share the persecution of his people. He was arrested in 1943 and was hung at Flossenburg Prison April 9, 1945, a few months before the war ended. Documents had been found which implicated him in the plot to kill Hitler.
Bonhoeffer believed, according to people who were close to him, that it is a "Christian's duty towards God to oppose tyranny, that is, a government which is no longer based on natural law and the law of God . . . and that the Christian must be prepared, if necessary, to offer his life for this. Thus all kinds of secular totalitarianism which force man to cast aside his religious and moral obligations to God and subordinate the laws of justice and morality to the State are incompatible with his conception of life.30
"Again, it was typical of Bonhoeffer that he did not commit the Church by his actions. The responsibility was his and not that of the Church, and therefore he cannot, alas, be said to have represented by his action the Confessional Church as a whole."31
Bonhoeffer believed that the task and essential character of the church, as differentiated from that of the individual Christian, is working to reconcile the world with God and open its eyes to the reality of the love of God, "against which it is blindly raging."32 Literally, he saw the church's function as preacher and keeper of the Baptismal and Eucharistic sacraments.33
Bonhoeffer further stated that government has a "divine mandate," by law and by "the force of the sword," to preserve the world for the reality of Jesus Christ. "Everyone owes obedience to this governing authority - for Christ's sake," he wrote. Since Bonhoeffer was caught violently opposing his evil and aggressive government, we may suppose Bonhoeffer meant citizens owe obedience to moral governments, which includes supporting national defense. He makes this clear when he declares that governments that are no longer willing to serve the law of God can lay no claim to a divine mandate and must be made subject to the law of God by the proclamation of the Church."34
In other words, the duty of the church is to proclaim the word of God and the duty of the state is to enforce a moral authority that preserves social order. It is not the correct function of the Bride of Christ to finance violence, whether needed or not.
Bonhoeffer even questioned whether Christians as a whole should strive to upset the social order (as differentiated from the totalitarianism he fought), even if that social order is unjust. Saint Paul was quoted extensively by Bonhoeffer, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, in sections in which Paul addressed the role of revolution in overturning the social order. Paul, Bonhoeffer pointed out, told the slave not to rebel because he was already free in Christ.35
"As a member of the Body of Christ he has acquired a freedom which no rebellion or revolution could have brought him . . . his real meaning is that to renounce rebellion and revolution is the most appropriate way of expressing our conviction that the Christian hope is not set on this world, but on Christ and his kingdom. . . . They (Christians) are bidden to be of good cheer: God himself will use the powers to work for their good and his sovereignty extends even over the powers. This is more than an academic statement about the nature of authority in the abstract. . . . Christ and Christians conquer by service. Failure to realize this distinction will bring a heavy judgement on the Christian . . . it will mean a lapse into the standards of the world."36
The concept of "cheap grace," which Bonhoeffer warned against, has been interpreted as an excuse to enter into the world's political battles. What Bonhoeffer really meant by "cheap grace," however, was "the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."37
Bonhoeffer stressed again and again that the essence of the church was Christ and that had to be manifested in the world in proclamation. The question of whether the church should finance revolution is answered in that assertion. Christ proclaimed triumph over death; giving money that finances death in His name is heresy.
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Unfortunately, despite the nature of its activities, the World Council has allies which help it shore up its policies. Some of the organizations which morally support SWAPO and the National Congress are TransAfrica, Washington Office on Africa, Institute for Policy Studies, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
All of these organizations either receive funds from the National Council of Churches, a mainline church, and/or have been affiliated with churches in their political endeavors. TransAfrica received $28,610 from 1981 through 1983 from the United Methodists and $4,067 in 1984. The Washington Office on Africa was granted $38,750 from 1981 through 1983 and $18,000 in 1984 from the same denomination.
It is not an accident that the Washington Office on Africa has been given special fund grants by the World Council. They were awarded $15,000 in 1982 for programs to "encourage progressive U.S. foreign policy towards southern Africa." TransAfrica received $25,000 from the World Council in 1985.
It is typical of radical organizations to network and cooperate in gathering support for mutual causes. African Marxist-Leninist liberation movements are not an exception. In typical intermovement cooperation, TransAfrica and other radical organizations sponsored a 1981 conference titled "Building Forces Against United States Support for South Africa." Speakers for that conference were, among others, National Congress president Oliver Tambo, third-ranking SWAPO leader Moses Garoeb, and Canon Robert Powell, director of the African office of the National Council of Churches. Other prominent participants were members of the Communist
Party, U.S.A. and organizations used by the Soviets.
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There have been many instances in which TransAfrica has declared its support of the Congress and SWAPO, but its actions speak even louder. Keynote speaker at TransAfrica's 1984 dinner was Sam Nujoma, SWAPO leader. The keynote speaker for 1983 was the late Maurice Bishop, formerly Marxist-Leninist prime minister of Grenada. Oliver Tambo has "been sponsored" by TransAfrica. TransAfrica head Randall Robinson and his organization have also spoken out for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Marxist-Leninist regimes of Mozambique, Cuba, and Ethiopia.38
Nonetheless, TransAfrica's board of directors has included Randolph Nugent and Isaac Bivens of the United Methodist mission board, Oscar McCloud of the Program Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and Charles Cobb, executive director of the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice. TransAfrica has also been highly successful in legitimizing itself by gathering American support against apartheid. It is responsible for the protests at the South African Embassy in Washington, protests which have included leaders from almost every American mainline church and celebrities of every stripe.
The United Methodists have participated in efforts to help the African Marxists-Leninists. In 1981 they sponsored a "Conference in Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the People of Southern Africa." The "people of Southern Africa," to which the title referred, were the African Congress and SWAPO. The United Methodists provided $4,000 in cash for the conference, office space for organizing efforts, staff, and a letterhead which labeled the organizing a United Methodist effort. It also allowed the conference to use the names of prominent United Methodist bishops and officials, many of whom knew little about the conference. The conference coordinator was Carl Bloice, the editor of People's World, the West Coast publication of the Communist Party, U.S.A.
Roy Beck, an editor of the United Methodist Reporter, attended the New York conference and found that no United Methodists were on the conference steering comniittee, but the committee did have members of the central committee of the Communist Party, U.S.A. The conference was initiated by the International Committee against Apartheid, Racism, and Colonialism in Southern Africa, a Soviet-front organization.
Beck, who said the conference was a "coming of age" experience for him concerning his attitudes about mainline denominations, questioned why activists who were trying to mobilize support for guerrillas chose speakers who alienate ordinary church members. "It seemed that the conference was designed to alienate," he said. ". . . I found it anti-American, and that's not a tremendous affront to me, to be critical, to be self-critical of the U.S., except that . . . it seemed to me ... that the anti-Americanism was more important than the anti-apartheid . . . it seemed I heard so much more about how bad the U.S. was than how bad apartheid was."39
Ironically, funds and support given to Marxist-Leninist guerrilla movements can be utterly wasted if the purpose is to install permanent Marxist-Leninist governments. The World Council supplied thousands of dollars to Mozambique's guerrillas (FRELIMO) before they successfully overthrew the Portuguese government in 1975. When the Portuguese left, the Mozambique government immediately signed endless pacts and accords with the U.S.S.R. and others in the Eastern Bloc. However, after watching the formerly prosperous Mozambique economy crumble into shambles, President Samora Moises Machel changed direction and is now also signing agreements with the West. There may be eventual political change as well.
That would not necessarily be the case in Namibia, however, should SWAPO triumph there, nor would it necessarily be the case if the National Congress should succeed in conquering South Africa. There has never been a Marxist-Leninist government which was an improvement over its predecessor, no matter how bad that predecessor was. Africa has not been an exception to this rule. Angola under the Portuguese was not a nice place for its black citizens. They were exploited. But under the Marxists-Leninists, it is hell. There is no freedom of speech, Christians are persecuted, there is no freedom of
movement, no freedom of the press, and the secret police are more than active.
Further, the Soviets do not finance revolutions as a result of altruism. They expect returns of one kind or another. "The Russians would just as soon see the region burning," one Mozambique official recently told author David Lamb. "The great merit of the West is that it has powers greater than those of the gun."40
It is one of the great tragedies in the history of Christianity that the World Council has abandoned its great powers of moral suasion for methods used by its greatest enemies.
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The Betrayal of the Church Copyright © 1986 by Edmund W. Robb and Julia Robb. Published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Westchester, Illinois 60153
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided by USA copyright law.
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