Original Research

Difficult Dialogue: A tool towards racial harmony in a multicultural church

Kelebogile T. Resane
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2547 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2547 | © 2020 Kelebogile T. Resane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2019 | Published: 30 April 2020

About the author(s)

Kelebogile T. Resane, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


This article is aiming to promote a learning programme known as Difficult Dialogue. This programme is used in universities and colleges across the world to forge interaction, dialogue and transparency where people divided by race, religion, gender or disabilities come together to dialogue as a way of understanding each other. The programme can be used in pursuit of building a multicultural church that can truly demonstrate that the church is ONE and agrees with the biblical teaching about unity of the believers. There are three reasons expounded why leading the multicultural church in South Africa seems to be a challenge. Firstly, people from the culture of segregation are generally scared or reserved of different cultures. The cultural gaps are too wide to close. Secondly, many who desire to lead multicultural churches continue to live mono-ethnic lives; and finally, the difficulty is exacerbated by a misnomer of those who desire to lead multicultural churches confusing to have people of colour present in the church being a multicultural church. The solution to this is three-pronged, as there are three practical suggestions towards a multicultural church’s engagement through Difficult Dialogue. The first suggestion calls for a change of a church space into a centre of learning; secondly, to utilise people’s stories; and finally, to strive for a church culture that reflects multiculturalism and diversity.


Difficult Dialogue; multiculturalism; church; culture; South Africa.


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