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Michael Lapsley

Michael Lapsley in a sunny room
  • Anti-apartheid activist
  • Letterbomb survivor
  • Director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories
  • Anglican Priest
The survivor of a 1990 assassination attempt, Father Michael Lapsley founded and is currently the director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories in Cape Town, South Africa. Lapsley, born on June 2, 1949, in New Zealand, attended seminary in Australia and was ordained as an Anglican priest. A member of the Anglican Society of the Sacred Mission, he has worked as a priest in South Africa since 1973. As a student chaplain during the 1976 Soweto Uprising, he protested atrocities committed against schoolchildren by the apartheid government and was expelled from the country, moving to Zimbabwe.  Read Full Biography

On April 28, 1996, Lapsley opened a letter bomb that nearly killed him and took both his hands and one of his eyes. After the attack, he shifted his focus towards mentoring South Africans and people all over the world who are in need of both physical and spiritual healing. Today he is the director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories in Cape Town and the author of several books, including Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer (Orbis Books, 2012).

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