South Africa's Rainbow Church

After South Africa’s tragic Apartheid period came the beginning of democracy and the dream of a rainbow culture where all racial backgrounds, all cultures, could strive to live together in peace and prosperity. Such a dream could not be accomplished overnight but it is still the yardstick by which every major South African institution, including the local Roman Catholic Church, measures its success.



Program Fifteen: South Africa's Rainbow Church



  • Missions Today (the magazine published by the Propagation of the Faith/English Canadian Branch. Online version.


Study Guide


The goal of Program Fifteen is to introduce students to a variety of programs within the South African Church to alleviate the HIV AIDS pandemic throughout the country. Interviews with Durham's Cardinal Wilfred Napier, Johannesburg's Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, Port Elizabeth's Bishop Michael Coleman, Dundee Bishop Graham Rose and others.


1. Show the internet TV DVD Program Fifteen: South Africa's Rainbow Church

2. Ask students to form small groups to describe the following:

  • Describe what is meant by becoming a Rainbow Church in South Africa?
  • Why is that so important in the post-Apartheid era of the country?
  • What do you think is the most important statement in this video and why?
  • What does the Canadian Church need to learn from the South African Church?
  • Give three reasons why Canadian Catholics should support the work of the Church in South Africa.

3. Option for Take-Home Assignment

Via the Internet find more facts about:

  • Roman Catholic Missionary history in South Africa and its current situation as a growing Church for all South Africans.
  • The Church in South Africa and how its population fits into the overall religious character of the country.
  • Describe how students can help Propagation of the Faith support Catholics and their work in South Africa.
  • Locate the various dioceses and archdiocese of South Africa on a map.

In groups, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.