Charters of religious freedom : the Magna Carta (1215), Ordinance No. 7 of 1843 (South Africa), and the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (2010)

Coertzen, Pieter (2016)

CITATION: Coertzen, P. 2016. Charters of religious freedom : the Magna Carta (1215), Ordinance No. 7 of 1843 (South Africa), and the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (2010). Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 42(3):191–206, doi:10.17159/2412-4265/2016/2065.

The original publication is available at https://upjournals.co.za

Article

In June 2015 a conference was held in Oxford to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter). In 1865 Ordinance no. 7 of 1843 was hailed as the Magna Carta of the Dutch Reformed Church. At the conference in Oxford a paper was given on the “Magna Carta and South Africa”. This article grew out of that paper. In the article, the historical development of religious freedom in different time periods are touched upon to end with the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (SA Charter), which was signed by many religions in South Africa on 20 October 2010 – its Constitutional setting and background while the differences between the Magna Carta, Ordinance no. 7 of 1843 and the SA Charter are accentuated. The biggest difference between the three documents are that the Magna Carta and Ordinance no. 7 of 1842 were documents that originated from the authorities and were granted to the churches, while the SA Charter is a document that grew from the religious communities itself.

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