|The Anabaptist Network in South Africa (ANiSA) is a network of people, churches and organizations who want to embody a radical lifestyle centered around God's reconciling vision for the world, draw on the collective wisdom within the Anabaptist movement, and walk with, support, and grow communities of peace, justice, and reconciliation within South Africa.
There are four main focal areas of involvement: connecting local members with one another as well as with the broader international Anabaptist family, resourcing through the ANiSA Peace Library and Resource Centre as well as through theological education and workshops, sharing information, and creating safe spaces of dialogue. ANiSA began in 2009 as a joint venture between Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Church Canada, and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, and is led by a 10-person steering committee with representatives coming from all over South Africa as well as one from Mennonite Ministries in South Africa and one from Mennonite Central Committee.
Mennonites have a long history of work in the southern African region. Mennonites began to work in South Africa primarily through Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). In South Africa this work intensified as MCC began a supportive role in the struggle against apartheid. This support, along with the Mennonite peace stance, made it difficult for Mennonites to live in South Africa during apartheid. Mennonites, however, continued to provide support through advocacy for victims of apartheid, support for nonviolent struggle, and resourcing for reconciliation. Since the early 1980s, Mennonites have also been involved in providing theological, biblical, and leadership training for many leaders within primarily African Indigenous Churches who may lack formal education. Since the 1990s, there has also been an emergence of Brethren in Christ churches in South Africa, first planted by the BIC church in Zimbabwe. This history, both through the presence of Mennonites and BICs, has led many to encounter and appreciate Anabaptist values and perspectives in the pursuit of living as faithful disciples of Jesus within the South African context.