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Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) was founded in 2014 as a non-profit, legal advocacy organisation with a mandate to protect and promote the freedom of religion rights granted to all by the South African Constitution. This was the direct result of Joshua Generation Church (a well-known evangelical church in the Western and Southern Cape) being targeted by an atheist couple for its Biblical teachings on parental discipline. The Church was investigated by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), who recommended that the Church no longer teach the “offensive” Scriptures, remove them from its teaching manuals and that the Church’s pastors should undergo “sensitisation training”.
Andrew Selley, founder of Joshua Generation Church, teamed up with Adv Nadene Badenhorst to form FOR SA, a legal advocacy organisation with the focus of defending the religious freedom rights granted by the South African Constitution. Section 15 of the Constitution in particular grants all South Africans the right to believe, to preach and teach (and by implication, to pass on to their children), and also to live out their religious convictions and beliefs.
Since then, FOR SA has been engaged in numerous issues and has protected and promoted freedom of religion before Government, Parliament, Chapter 9 institutions and the courts. Depending on the issue at hand, FOR SA represents organisations and individuals numbering between 6 and 18,5 million people.
FOR SA also works to disseminate its views and positions to the media and (particularly) to the public to enable them to engage more effectively in the democratic process.
Freedom of religion is foundational to the well-being of any nation which calls itself a democracy.
FOR SA’s Legal Counsel, Adv Nadene Badenhorst, in Court with Adv Reg Willis.