Confession of Belhar, Bekenntnis von Belhar


Deliberation process on the position
of the Belhar Confession in the Lippe Church

“We believe that God has revealed Godself as the One who wishes to bring about justice and true peace on earth; that in a world full of injustice and enmity God is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged and that God calls the church to follow in this; (…) that the church belonging to God, should stand where God stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged”. (Belhar Confession, 1986 Article 4)

The Belhar Confession is the confession of our South African partner church, the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). It emerged in 1986 during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, but since then it has worldwide repeatedly proved to be groundbreaking – also in the church of Lippe. Several churches have meanwhile officially adopted 'Belhar' (confer the lecture of Prof. Modise).

In 2018, the Lippische Landeskirche also began a corresponding consultation process on the position of the Belhar Confession in its own church. The proposal was put forward for discussion to anchor a reference to this confession in the constitution.

In lectures, an international theological conference, impulses and discussions in congregations and classes, it was about getting to know the confession more deeply and to ask about its meaning for our time and context. Reflection on the different Lutheran and Reformed confessional traditions also played a role; as did the question of what practical consequences would result from a possible constitutional reference to this confession for the concrete witness of our church in the world today.

At the end of the consultation process, which was temporarily slowed down by the Corona pandemic, the decision was made to adopt a resolution to honour the Belhar Confession and to continue working on current challenges instead of an amendment to the constitution. This resolution was adopted at the Synod on 15.11.2021.

Here we document the relevant presentations and materials from the consultation process.

Confession of Belhar and Ressources