AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - The Bishops: "No to the registration of pastors and ministers of religion"

Thursday, 20 July 2017 bishops  

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "The recommendation that new laws be introduced to enforce registration of pastors and ministers is overkill and a response that one would expect more from a totalitarian state than a constitutional democracy", said His Exc. Mgr. Brislin, Archbishop of Cape Town and President of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) in responding to the proposal submitted by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities in South Africa on 11 July recommending that all religious practitioners be registered under umbrella organizations that would be recognized by the state and subject to “peer-review committees.
"We fully understand and share government’s unhappiness with certain practices done in the name of religion, such as requiring adherents to drink petrol or eat grass. However, we believe that there is sufficient existing legislation that can be evoked to deal with most of these harmful practices", underlined Mgr. Brislin. Other religious confessions have also criticized the proposal to register ministers of religion. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2017)