The Release of Mandela and the Release of Captives

From Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, Feb 10th:

On February 10, 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years in a South African prison. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment for plotting to overthrow his government as part of the African National Congress (AFM), which stood in opposition to the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies. While imprisoned he became one of the most influential black leaders of South Africa. After the apartheid policy was defeated through nonviolent struggle, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.

Nelson Mandela said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

A Prayer:

Lord, not many of us could sustain hope in the midst of such horrors as Apartheid South Africa. Thank you for the witness of -people like Nelson Mandela, who remind us that hope is a lifeline for those who hang by the threads of injustice. As long as there are -people held in captivity, oppressed, and denied basic human rights, help us all to consider ourselves to be hanging by the same frail threads. Amen.

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