Historical Church, NG To Become Muslim School In Johannesburg

Johannesburg – (SAPA) The conversion of the first Dutch Reformed Church in Johannesburg into a Muslim school has caused an uproar among several Langlaagte residents, it was reported on Sunday.

The City Press reported that the church was “the latest casualty” of the migration of Afrikaans-speakers from Johannesburg’s inner city suburbs.

Reverend Hennie van Rooyen told the newspaper the church was sold to Muslim buyers because its maintenance was too high.

“I wish it could’ve been different… But we can’t afford hundreds of thousands of rands to maintain the building,” he said.

“And the demography of the area has changed to a predominantly Indian community.”

Bishop Ryan Sooknunan, a pastor who used to rent the church for his independent Pentacostal church services, accused Van Rooyen and the Dutch Reformed Church of violating an agreement made with him by selling the church.


He threatened to take legal action, and would arrange a march in protest of the sale.

He also lambasted Van Rooyen’s congregation for allowing a “foreign religion” to move into the building.

The church grounds also contain the graves of its first minister, and his wife.

Van Rooyen said the deed of sale specified that the building’s historical nature would be respected, and that the graves would be protected. “Interested parties” could still have access to the site.

A member of the Dutch Reformed Church told the newspaper that there were few church members left in Langlaagte.

“There is just one other couple. And the children in the [neighbouring children’s care] home. But that’s all of us who are left,” he said.

Source: SAPA

  1. Muktar Nasir Reply

    So nice, dat is ISLAM FOR U…………

  2. Bishop Ryan Sooknunan Reply

    Please note that the article in the Rapport and the beeld is incorrect. Our representatives are handling that. See the correct article in the star of today

    Sale of 126 year church to muslims to be turned into a madressa.

    On the 1st of April 2001,I, Bishop Rayan Sooknunan started an English service in the Dutch Reform Church langlaagte. Reason for service—demographic change. Started Glory Divine with 1 person in 2001 and currently have over a thousand multiracial congregation. Dr Hennie and Elders entered into a oral lease agreement with me that the building is in a Langlaagte Trust and it’s a monument and it cannot be sold. They said that they receive funding from Holland and the building needs to utilised to serve the Christian community
    This can be confirmed with one of the Elders of the NG Kerk that was present at the agreement Mr Joe Brown tel no 0764062018 and the terms was :- many other affidavits provided to the court of further meetings including tape.

    • The building must be used for the propagation of the Christian gospel and if otherwise then we will be asked to vacate to which we have kept the condition for twelve years.

    We are now operating in the area for 12 years and people are from poor backgrounds and we serve them holistically. Where will they go now. Go into http://www.glorydivine.co.za

    When I occupied the building in 2001, there were a number of congregation that was attending the NG Kerk service together with the Abraham Kriel Kinders about 150 of them. As time went on majority of the Abraham Kriel Kinders wanted to come to our service and that is when friction broke up between us. the children were warned not to come to our services.

    After a while from about 2005 the members of the NG Kerk church started slowly to decrease and by about 2009 there was only about 20 members beside the Abraham Kriel children attending services. The NK Kerk realized that they were in crises financially and major decisions needed to be made, also all the members of the NG Kerk were either leaving or moving away to other areas. At present there are about 30 NG kerk people according to the Elder of NG Kerk Mr Joe Brown contact number 0764062018.

    On 23rd August 2010 an official meeting after ten years was held between us and the NG Kerk.

    Then another meeting and it was established that they want to sell the church. I was asked to offer and a figure was not given to me. They said that I can offer because I am in the building for 11 years and also I am propagating the gospel.

    Later I made my offer to 1,5 million still not knowing what figure they want. Then muslims started coming into the premises and then I was told that it is sold for 2.7 mil.

    When I objected because of muslims and hennie jumping over the fence and being violent with my guard then I got eviction order and now the matter is in the high court.

    Too many lies. They say ther is no trust but I have a trust number. Funds came in from Holland. Indefinate lease agreement still stands.We have and will always maintain the building and keep the heritage. Give us a chance to preserve and buy the building. Church square and not madressa SQUARE

    We opposed the eviction and it cost us a lot of money with lawyers and advocate fees. There was a lot of contradictions etc on their affidavit to the high court. We produced an opposing affidavit – withdrew the case – procedure of eviction was wrong -now re-opened the case- 45 days notice to vacate the building.

    A copy of all complete documents can be attained by my attorney

    Where will a 1000’s of people of all races go?

    The correct article is on the star, etv, daily sun and Durban newspaper—also on Radio 702 and local stations. If you furnish me your e-mail number, I will send you the full details with pictures of how the church was dilapidated before I renovated it.

    Dr Ryan Sooknunan

  3. JohannesburgHotels.biz Reply

    There are other historical places of worship for different religions that have been around for centuries and are still serving as places of prayer. Therefore, the explanation given by Reverend Hennie van Rooyen is not really convincing. What upsets many Christians is the fact that the Reverend did not respect the fact that the historic church has been a place of prayer to many Christians for many years. Did he really have to sell the church to Muslim buyers?

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