Religious leaders will participate in a summit on February 13 next year as part of a self-regulation process aimed at preventing religious abuses.
This was announced by Pastor Ray McCauley, president of Rhema Church and co-chair of the National Religious Council at a meeting of religious leaders in Johannesburg of Friday.
Earlier this year the COGTA parliamentary committee turned down a call by the CRL Rights Commission for state regulation of religion. The CRL recommendation was made in its report on the commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems.
Addressing religious leaders and the media on Friday, McCauley said the CRL’s findings had embarrassed the religious sector, particularly the Christian faith, which had been making headlines for the wrong reasons.
“There is consensus between the commission and the religious community that religious leaders themselves are best
placed to chart the way forward — assisted by the commission,” he said.
He said the February Religious Summit would be inclusive of every religious organisation and would focus on the following six streams:
1. Legal / constitutional framework
2. Developing code of conduct
3. Developing an accountability system to society and ourselves
4. Developing healthy relationship with the CRL Rights Commission
5. Developing core values for our multi-faith society
6. Creating a working partnership with parliament, the Department of Home Affairs, SAPS and SARS.
“We believe that on that day we will be able to adopt a document that speaks to the aforementioned streams and we will obviously ask parliament to assist us with any necessary legislative aspects of these considerations,” he said.
He said a summit task team had been formed, headed by Bishop Mosa Sono of Grace Bible Church.