Baptists from Nazareth Appeal to Global Baptists at CongressJuly 28, 2015
Saturday at the Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, brought a change in pace. The day started with a special breakfast to hear from Baptists in Nazareth. I wrote about their comments in an EthicsDaily.com article, Baptists from Nazareth Appeal to Global Baptists at Congress. The two main speakers were Azar Ajaj, who I met last year in Turkey, and Yohanna Katanacho. Baptists in the U.S. and elsewhere should listen to the stories and perspectives of those in Nazareth.
Much of Saturday was open for sightseeing in Durban. I worked with a tour agency to get a tour opened up to see two important historical sights. First, we went to where Mahatma Gandhi lived for 21 years. It was in Durban that he got his start in political activism (fighting as a lawyer for equal rights, publishing a newspaper, and starting a political party) before returning to India.
Then we went to see Ohlange High School, which was founded by John Dube. He founded the school after studying under Booker T. Washington in the United States. Dube also published a newspaper and fought for rights of his fellow blacks. A contemporary of Gandhi, he started (at Gandhi's suggestion) the political party that eventually became the African National Congress (ANC). Nelson Mandala was a member of the ANC and so cast his historic vote in the 1994 elections at this school founded by Dube. Mandela then went outside to pay his respects at Dube's grave (and then went to where Gandhi had lived and laid a wreath in front of a statue of Gandhi).
Visiting those two places felt like walking on holy ground. I learned a lot about the three figures, including their political and religious views. You can see more photos from day 4 (Saturday) of the Congress here.