Pagan religions to be regulated by Christians?

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRLC) appears determined to forge ahead with its intention to regulate religion in South Africa, and is already promoting an unelected “umbrella body” to regulate the religious sector.

This follows a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in February this year, which recommended that faith groups convene a national consultative conference to discuss challenges in the religious sector, to draft a charter for self-regulation, and to approach Parliament to have the code of conduct recognised through legislation. [0]

The proposed regulatory body, the South African Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (SACRRF), is an independent Christian NGO, ostensibly established to promote the rights of “faith groups” in South Africa.

The SACRRF is not a Constitutionally mandated authority, and it has no power in terms of law to regulate religions in South Africa.

Nevertheless, at the CRLC’s recent presentation of a draft ‘Code of Conduct for Religions in South Africa’, the CRLC’s chairperson was vocal in her support for the SACRRF as a regulatory body “to regulate places of worship” in order to “strengthen the moral fibre of the religious sector”. [1]

Pagan religious organisations were once again not invited to participate in this consultative conference. This is the second time that the CRLC has deliberately snubbed minority faiths, in direct contravention of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act. [2]

While the draft ‘Code of Conduct for Religions in South Africa’ dated 25 June 2018 [3], does not obviously infringe on the rights of Pagan minority religions, it’s primary source; The South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms – a document produced and promoted by the SACRRF and officially adopted on 21 October 2010 at a Public Endorsement Ceremony, stands in stark opposition to several Constitutional principles embraced by a majority of South African Pagans, and by LGBT Pagans in particular. [4]

Some provisions within the SACRRF Charter directly contradict recent judicial decisions regarding the prohibition of single-faith education at public schools, and the refusal of essential medical services on the grounds of religious conviction. The Charter defends the right to refuse service on the grounds of religious conscience.

Pagan organisations were not invited to participate in deliberations on this Charter, and are not signatories to it.

If the CRL Rights Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva thinks minority Pagan religions and Pagan religious leaders will be bound by the conclusive deliberations conducted exclusively between Christian organisations and their representatives, or in any way be bound to the regulation of our faiths by the SACRRF, she is mistaken. Pagans will not be dictated to by any majority, on any issue! Consult with Pagans, or remain irrelevant to us.

References

[0]
ATC180214: Report Of The Pc on Cogta on the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) on the Commercialisation of Religion and Abuse of Peoples Beliefs dated 14 February 2018
https://pmg.org.za/tabled-committee-report/3260/

[1]
Dodgy churches put money in sacks, then zip across the border: Pastor Ray McCauley
20 September 2018
Nomahlubi Jordaan
https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-09-20-dodgy-churches-put-money-in-sacks-then-zip-across-the-border-pastor-ray-mccauley/

[2]
CRL Commission ignores minorities
21 August 2018
South African Pagan Rights Alliance
In a recently published article – Pagans and Christians oppose CRL commission’s ‘state capture’ of religion – CRL Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva is reported to have stated: “The participants in the hearings were part of a random sample. Only religions which were broadly represented at a percentage above 3% were part of the hearings. So in this case, size did matter,” she said.
http://www.paganrightsalliance.org/crl-commission-ignores-minorities/

[3]
draft ‘Code of Conduct for Religions in South Africa’ dated 25 June 2018.
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRLC)
http://www.penton.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/A-Code-of-Conduct-for-Religions-in-South-Africa-2-1.pdf

[4]
The South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms.
South African Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (SACRRF)
http://www.penton.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/sacrrf.pdf

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