SOUTH AFRICA: Down with Santa

In Pretoria, South Africa's Dutch Reformed Church (1,400,000 members) held a synod, solemnly condemned: 1) cremation ("a heathen custom"), 2) commercial radio programs on Sundays, 3) American comics ("doing untold harm"), 4) Freemasonry, 5) the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. The churchmen rejected racial and sex equality ("God spoke to Adam, not to Eve"), as well as freedom of speech and opinion: "Heresy and untruth may not be spoken freely . . . The devilish tendencies in man place very definite limits on these freedoms."

Another section of the Dutch Reformed Church formally condemned Christmas trees and Santa Claus as "heathen."


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