In 1972 a Faculty of Theology was established at the University of the Western Cape when the former Dutch Reformed Mission Church shifted its theological education from a seminary in Wellington to UWC.
A deputation from the class then submitted a resolution to the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church that was about to meet at that time.
The primary problem addressed in the Belhar confession, as indicated in the accompanying letter, had to do with the relationship between the then Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) at that time.
The Belhar Confession, grounded in the struggle against apartheid, was first adopted by the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church
in South Africa in 1986.
1) A lecture at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) commemorating the 1986 Belhar Confession, an official statement by a Christian community condemning racial segregation in churches in 1982, during the struggle against apartheid, and adopted in 1986 as a confession of faith by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church
(DRMC) in South Africa.
Representatives from the family of Dutch Reformed churches--the Dutch Reformed Mission Church
(NGSK) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (NGKA)--played a central role in the formulation of resoltions against apartheid, and a representative of the NGSK, Dr Alan Boesak, was elected as president of the WARC.
The status confessionis of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church
later led to the adoption of the Belhar Confession (1986), which was the first confession from the ranks of Dutch Reformed churches since the acceptance of the Canons of Dordt in 1618/9.
The clearest expression of the theological impact of Barmen is perhaps its role in the formulation and adoption of the Confession of Belhar 1986 (1) (hereafter referred to as Belhar) by the former Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC) in South Africa.
Like the Confessing Church in Germany, the former Dutch Reformed Mission Church declared a status confessionis on the theological justification of apartheid.
In addition to the "coloured" Dutch Reformed Mission Church
(DRMC), the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) for black (African) members was formed in 1963 and the Indian Reformed Church (later Reformed Church in Africa) for the tiny number of Indian converts in 1968.
For the NGK the only remaining ecumenical organization was the RES/C, which included two black South African churches -- the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (NGKA) and the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa (NGSK).
The Dutch Reformed Mission Church had already drawn up its "Belhar Confession", which in the name of Christ "rejected any doctrine of forced separation of people on the grounds of race and colour".