On 6 September 2019, the Faculty of Theology and Religion hosted a prayer rally in the courtyard of the Theology Building on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria. On that Friday afternoon, roughly 60 people stood shoulder to shoulder and sent up words of intercession in the hope that God would bring calm to our nation.
The Dean of the Faculty, Prof Jerry Pillay, said the following in his invitation to the event: “We strongly condemn the violence against women, children and foreigners in South Africa which is clearly evident in the rapes, murders, kidnappings, lootings and xenophobic attacks we are currently experiencing. We call for responsible, moral and ethical leaders to lead by example since corruption begets violence, anarchy and criminal behaviour. It is time that leaders in responsible positions that govern and lead people take cognisance of what is happening and do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of all people in the land. Likewise, we also plead for all people to assume their responsibilities of good citizenship. Whilst it is expected of us to stand up and protest against injustices and the horrible realities and violence we are facing, let’s do it responsibly and effectively.”
While there are many ways to combat this manner of social darkness, the members of this faculty chose prayer as their weapon, believing that divinity and humanity work best when they work together. That focus on unity led to a circle of old people and young people, local citizens and foreign nationals, men and women all holding hands, lighting candles and singing songs about the goodness of God and the promises of peace He has made.