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Desmond Tutu

Profile: Desmond Tutu
Nobel Prize for Peace

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"We received death threats, yes, but you see, when you are in a struggle, there are going to have to be casualties, and why should you be exempt?"

When Desmond Tutu became General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, he used his pulpit to decry the apartheid system of racial segregation. The South African government revoked his passport to prevent him from traveling, but Bishop Tutu refused to be silenced. International condemnation forced the government to rescind their decision. He had succeeded in drawing the world's attention to the injustice of the apartheid system. In 1984, his contribution to the cause of racial equality in South Africa was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize.

As Archbishop of Cape Town, spiritual leader of all Anglican Christians in South Africa, his spiritual authority dealt a death blow to white supremacy in South Africa. As Chairman of the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he helped his country to bind up its wounds, and choose forgiveness over revenge. He continues to raise his voice for peace and justice all over the world.

This page last revised on Oct 25, 2008 18:43 EST