Thousands upon thousands of Indian indentured workers were bought to South Africa for work from 1860 onwards. Now a vast community of Indian South Africans have developed their identities as both South Africans and as Indians expatriates. The most classic member of their community was Mahatma Ghandi.
This 150th year commemoration is therefore a major Christian and cultural festival which also helps them to celebrate many aspects of the community, such as their nationality and their identity and their and it helps to remind the younger generation of the roots and traditions of their forebears.
Harold Paul lives in Durban and is the President of the Baptist Association of South African (Indian) Churches. Their history goes back to 1900 when D Benjamin arrived from India to commence the Baptist work amongst the Indian community there.
There are twenty six churches in this Association, every time he looks around, hw says, somewhere in South Africa, Harold sees another congregation of Indian descent has joined the association.
In this sense, Harold Paul notes that the future seems very bright and that evangelism is going from strength to strength throughout their communities.
They have placed a huge emphasis on planting new churches and they have found much inter-dependence on the Baptist World Alliance as partners. This is particularly so as the next Baptist World Congress in 2015 is being held in Durban, South Africa.
This Harold Paul interview on the Australian Missionary News IPTV may be viewed at either tv.bushorchestra.com/BWC/videopages/harold_paul.html or www.safeworlds.net