The COGTA Parliamentary Portfolio Committee met on January 30th to discuss and agree on their recommendations on the CRL’s Report on the “Commercialisation” of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems, which they will subsequently forward to Parliament’s National Assembly.
Essentially, COGTA took note of the broad-based faith community’s united response and opposition to the CRL’s Report and recommendations. It supported the alternative solutions proposed by FOR SA and many others, to the concerns highlighted in the CRL’s Report. A key recommendation which was accepted, was that existing laws (which should be strengthened where necessary) need to be better applied and enforced. The effectiveness of such enforcement can be seen in the prosecution for assault of the so-called “Prophet of Doom” (who was found guilty on five charges of assault and breach of the law this past week, and is now awaiting sentencing) and the current probe by SARS into financial irregularities in the religious sector. Click here to read FOR SA’s press release.
COGTA is further recommending that the religious sector be given the opportunity to convene a national consultative process to develop its own self-regulatory solutions along the lines of a Code of Ethics. Significantly, COGTA did not verbalise any support for the CRL’s recommendation to licence/regulate (and thereby control) every religious practitioner and place of worship in South Africa. We trust that this same unity among the faith community will continue as we seek effective solutions to the legitimate issues and types of abuse and illegal activities which their Report highlighted.
FOR SA is very pleased with this direction and deeply thankful for the support and participation of numerous denominations, churches and church organisations as well as other faith groups and individuals. Please continue to pray that this position is reflected in COGTA’s final report and recommendations to the National Assembly.
Support FOR SA
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. You can help FOR SA protect our freedom by:
- Making a financial contribution to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/donate/ As a non-profit organisation, we are entirely dependent upon God’s grace for finances. Your generosity will help make a significant difference as we work to fulfil our mission to keep the Gospel free by advocating for religious freedom. We appreciate every gift, big or small!
- Signing up (at no cost) to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/contact-us/join-us/ and subscribing to our Newsletter.
- Praying for us as we defend this precious freedom before government and courts of law.
- Following us, and sharing our posts, on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”.
- Informing us, should you become aware of any case in which religious freedom is threatened.