More than 250 persons gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church in Northwest Washington last night for a combination prayer meeting, rally and lecture to keep alive local sentiment against the apartheid policies of the South African government.

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told the group that the current political strife in South Africa is being incorrectly explained to Americans as a battle of "isms," such as in capitalism versus communism.

"It is poor policy for this country to support South Africa in the name of fighting communism," he said, adding that Nazi Germany was anticommunist and certainly not worthy of U.S. support.

Throughout the program, which included gospel music and calls for cash donations to support demonstrations at the South African Embassy, U.S. policy toward that nation was assailed.

Rep. William Gray (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Budget Committee and sponsor of legislation to impose economic and trade sanctions on South Africa, asked the audience to urge Congress to pass the bill.

D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy said the key is understanding "where the money goes." South Africa's racial segregation policy, he said, is simply a "labor control system that is built upon cheap labor and foreign investment."