North West Church leaders under the auspices of the Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship (MMF) on Wednesday expressed concerns regarding the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL commission) research report and investigation into commercialisation of religion.The formation has convened a special meeting to consolidate responses to the two reports.
“The outcome of the CRL commission research project and investigation report into commercialisation of religion are going to have far reaching implication on the church and curtail religious freedom that Christians who constitute 80% of the population in the country currently enjoy,” Chairperson of MMF (an interdenominational church leaders fellowship), said Apostle Zandisile Reginald Mpame ahead of the Sunday meeting to be held at the Mocoseng Sundown Resort as from 4pm.
Mpame expressed concern about the Xenophobic language in the reports.
“We are resolute to confront attempts to determine where, how as well as by whom the message of salvation is preached and what relationships local churches must have with the universal body of Christ,” he cautioned.
He said that overregulation recommended by the reports will impact on evangelism which is at the core of Christianity’s great commission.
“The myopic assumption that Christians are going to fall for the proposal to be enjoined with other religions to oversee church affairs as well as licensing of its practitioners is ill-conceived and amounts to state control even if it disguised as self-regulation and peer review mechanisms,” highlighted Mpame.
He emphasised that while the overwhelming majority of churches condemn practices such as using doom on congregants, giving them disinfectants to drink, feeding them snakes and rats to congregants which are not supported by the Word of God, they will not support being brought under the control of the state when the report is formally tabled in Parliament in February next year.
Mpame said that the laws of the country are adequate to deal with abuses as well as non-compliance after the CRL has done what it is supposed to do.
“The CRL simply has to execute its mandate and primary duties to promote peaceful coexistence between religious cultural and linguistic groups in the country, educate, protect and roll awareness campaigns as regards the need for registration, improve administration and financial compliance. It will have our support if it starts doing what it is supposed to do and using resources allocated to it for that purpose,” he concluded.
The meeting will be open for all church leaders and elders from various denominations.