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I find it interesting that where the Belhar Confession comes out of the struggle of apartheid, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada deals with the evils of forced integration and assimilation. In my ministry with the First Nations peoples in Winnipeg, I have had to allow for a separate development of a Native Christian worship style, in order to let the people worship God with the gifts of their culture.

The Belhar confession speaks to this with this statement:
"-- that this unity can be established only in freedom and not under constraint; that the variety of "spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, convictions, as well as the various languages and "cultures, are by virtue of the reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and "enrichment within the one visible people of God."

That freedom without constraint is however hard to achieve when there is a power imblanace between and established institution, and a struggling community that tries to find its own voice.

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