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Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa

 

Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa

The Dutch Reformed Church "DRC" in South Africa is divided into three sister churches, Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK), Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk (NHK), and Gereformeerde Kerke (GK).

The NGK, which also has a presence in neighboring countries, such as Namibia, Swaziland, and parts of Botswana and Zimbabwe, originates in the 17th century from the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands. It is the largest church within South Africa's Dutch Reformed tradition, claiming 1.1 million members and 1,626 ordained ministers in 1,162 congregations.

NHK developed as an autonomous Reformed Church in South Africa during the Great Trek of Afrikaner-Boers in the late 1830s. The Afrikaner Reformed Church members which remained in the Cape Colony under British rule evolved into the much bigger Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NG Church). The Church is mainly an Afrikaans speaking church.

The GK was formed in 1859 in Rustenburg by church members who were threatened with excommunication for refusing to sing songs from a new hymn book introduced by the main church, believing these new songs to be blasphemous contradictions of earlier church teachings. The GK today has 415 Congregations ministering to people in all 11 official languages of South Africa. There are congregations in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.

See also

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