Sunday, April 15, 2012

Historic Church in Johannesburg to become an Islamic ‘Madrasah’

The former Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk) in Langlaagte, Johannesburg.
Picture Credit: - Photo © Derek Walker. 2011

The cornerstone of this historic church was laid in March 1889, but the Boer War delayed completion and it was only inaugurated on 12 December 1902. The founder of the Abraham Kriel Orphanage; Ds. Abraham Kriel, was the first minister at the church and served from 1902-1917, he is buried with his wife in the grounds of the church. The church was in use by the Glory Divine World Ministeries up till November 2011. They have since been given notice to vacate the premises as the church is up for sale. As yet there has been very little interest by the heritage authorities in the fate of this building, and there is a good chance that it could end up being changed beyond recognition, and lost forever. - Source

Today’s Rapport newspaper, dated 15 April 2012, has reported (on their back page of all places) that Muslims are planning to transform the historic church into a “Madrasah”, which is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution. In South Africa, the madrasahs also play a social and cultural role in giving after-school religious instruction to Muslim children who attend government or private non-religious schools.

Apparently the increasing costs involved in maintaining the building has led to the decision to sell it. The best offer was made by a Muslim organization. The demographics of the region has also totally changed to a predominant Indian community. According to the Dutch Reformed minister at Veregsig, Hennie van Rooyen, the decision to sell the Langlaagte property lies heavy on their hearts as, among other things, the graves of the first preacher, Abraham Kriel, and his spouse Christoffelina, still exist in the grounds of the church.

According to Van Rooyen, a clause in the sale contract specifies that the historicity of the building must be respected. A servitude has also been registered that protects the graves of Abraham and Christoffelina Kriel, and which will also allow interested parties access to the property.

Bishop Ryan Sooknunan, who was hiring the building for the services of his Glory Divine World Ministries, is not too happy with the Langlaagte developments. Sooknunan has now accused the Dutch Reformed Church that they breached a verbal contract which allowed for unlimited use of the building. The Dutch Reformed ministry of Vergesig has denied the existence of such a contract.

The full story can be read here in Afrikaans, in Rapport.

Click here to view the Afrikaans Wikipedia Page dealing with some of the historical aspects of the Dutch Reformed congregation at Langlaagte. The page also features some older photographs of the historical building, which were recorded soon after it was completed more than 100 years ago.

Click here to view more recent photographs of this historic building.

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The following two posts are on the sister blog Tia4CHRIST:


Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog


Dr Ryan Sooknunan has responded personally to this article on the sister blog. He claims that the Rapport and Beeld articles are incorrect (NASPERS again!!!), and has referenced a report in The Star as a more accurate description of the latest events. The Star’s report is here.

Personally, I think it’s a bloody disgrace what the NG Kerk has done to this historic building. Handing it over to an Islamic academy in exchange for R2,7 million, is beyond treacherous!

Click here to read what exactly Muslims preach and teach, written by someone with insider knowledge of their activities.

Another worthwhile read is: Holy Terror: How the Church Crucified South Africa

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Johannes De Villiers - Rapport

The aforesaid matter refers and in particular your allegedly “one-sided” article which was published in the Rapport of the 15th instant.
Please note the content depicts writer’s beliefs and opinion and not Bishop Sooknunan.

This article has allegedly clearly exposed the N.G. Church, by mouth of Hennie Van Rooyen that the church has finally admitted to no longer adhering to its original Biblical vision and Constitution, i.e. proclaiming that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the only salvation of mankind, including all false religions, atheists, and so called false Christians

We clearly see the motive is mammon as the church has been offered to the highest bidder.

This action opposes God and will have eternal consequences

Writer wishes to highlight the following salient points which have allegedly been omitted in your article:
1. According to your article the selling of the church is warranted by the high cost of maintenance p.a.
This allegation is devoid of all truth, and might even be tantamount to a blatant lie.
Glory Divine World Ministries have been occupying premises for the last eleven years and due to the severe dilapidation of the building (as occasioned by the absence of repairs) Bishop Ryan has been necessitated to maintain same. The only renovation that took place by NG Kerk was in 2010 when the outside was neatened and shortly after that the intention of the sale was communicated, the objective is clear

Furthermore, writer is hopeful that should the N.G. Church re-institute legal proceedings regarding the vacation of the premises, they would be in a position to support their allegations that they have paid a substantial amount in respect of maintenance thereof.
On the contrary, should it be established that the building has not at all been maintained by the N.G. Church, who were then the recipients of the Funds earmarked for the maintenance thereof?
However, should it be established that Bishop Sooknunan has been maintaining the premises in excess of 10 years, he would then clearly have legal recourse for hundreds and thousands of Rands (if not more) in respect of necessary expenses incurred by himself.
2. Please note that Bishop Sooknunan is not merely accusing the N.G. Church of breaching an oral agreement, but is merely enforcing “tenant’s rights obtained” in respect of the lease agreement as concluded. Writer is of the opinion that the N.G. Church has by selling the building (in contravention of a valid agreement) reneged on the agreement with Glory Divine World Ministries.
3.. Regarding your statement pertaining to the servitude as registered, the purchase order signed states to be registered and it does not stipulate anything regarding the protection of the building. it is questionable whether the Muslims will honour the servitude on the premises preventing the excavation of the graves of the Kriels as the Muslims will definitely remove the graves of their “newly acquired holy premises”.
Why have you in your article omitted to mention that the congregation of Glory Divine World Ministries has currently a membership in excess of 1 000 congregants all all races.

Writer is of the opinion that is high time for the N.G. Church Leadership to return to the values of the founders of the church and to do serious introspection in this regard. If Dr. Andrew Murray and Ds. Abaham Kriel were alive today, they would have been disgusted at the current state of affairs,

I hereby extend an invitation to you, your colleagues and Hennie Van Rooyen to attend a Glory Divine World Ministry service, commencing at 8h00 and 10H00 on Sunday mornings, to witness first hand that Christianity (in the true sense of the Word) is alive and is currently not only changing Langlaagte and the surrounding areas, but internationally as well. Writer is hopeful that you, in the in interest of justice and objective reporting, will urgently liaise and retract.

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