Confession Banner: The Confession of Belhar (1982) Adopted by the PC(USA) in 2016

By: Sarah Bishop

Posted: January 19, 2022

Category: Daily Devotional

Belhar came from South Africa and took shape in the early 1980s, during the era when apartheid was the official policy of the white controlled government and of the white, Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. The Confession of Belhar offered a theological challenge to apartheid from Christians of color in the Dutch Reformed Mission Church. Approved by that denomination in 1986, Belhar named division based on race as sin, and called Christians and the Church to ministries of reconciliation and justice.

Belhar has three central points: Unity, Reconciliation, and Justice. It is structured like the Theological Declaration of Barmen. There is a biblical affirmation followed by a rejection of false teaching. The Presbyterian Church USA adopted this Confession at the 222nd General Assembly in 2016.


Gracious Lord, we give thanks that unity is both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force; yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought; as the Belhar Confession reminds us, is also one which the people of God must continually build up to attain. As we’ve grown in our connection as Your church through the Confessions of the PC(USA) may that Spirit continue to be a binding force in Christ Jesus forever more. Amen.