The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) are conducting hearings in four provinces into whether Christian public holidays in South Africa “unfairly discriminate against holidays of other religions.”
The commission said in a media statement that it has “received a number of complaints and requests concerning the bias and unfair schedule of Public Holidays – which only caters for Christian religious holidays.” However, Africa Christian Action (ACA) reports that it has onfirmed that only four complaints were received.
“The consultative community hearings aim to encourage public and community participation on the matter, gather information from the communities and determine whether, according to the communities, there is discrimination or not; and if there is discrimination whether such discrimination is fair or unfair and to submit a report with recommendations to the Department of Home Affairs and the office of the Presidency for possible review of existing legislation,” says the commission.
Secular humanists constitute less than 10 percent of SA society – yet there are seven humanist public holidays in SA, points out ACA. The findings of the last census revealed that more than two-thirds of South Africans identified themselves as Christian. Muslims constitute about 2 per cent and Hindus and Jews even less.
“This threat is another attempt by secular humanists to obliterate every remaining legacy of the Christian Heritage of South Africa. Secular humanists – who are a minority – are working tirelessly to dominate SA society with their godless culture of death, promoting abortion and euthanasia,” says ACA.
Rev Kenneth Meshoe, President of the ACDP said in a press statement: “Those who allege that our calendar has too many Christian holidays must be reminded that our calendar has only two official Christian holidays, which are Good Friday and Christmas. Easter Monday is not recognised as a Christian holiday in our country as the ANC government decided to change it to Family Day. They also removed Ascension Day, which was previously celebrated in South Africa. When these two Christian holy days were removed as public holidays from our South African calendar, most Christians kept quiet about it. However, we can no longer remain quiet when the only two remaining Christian holidays are now under review.
“The ACDP therefore calls on all churches and Christian NGOs to be vigilant and to ensure that they reject any attempts by any minority group to remove the only two Christian holidays we have on our calendar. The ACDP will fight any attempt to change or remove Christmas and Good Friday from our calendar as we view such attempts as an attack on our faith.”
Dr Corne Mulder Freedom Front Plus spokesperson on Arts and Culture said: “The public hearings which are currently being hosted by the Commission…. is a dangerous process which could threaten social cohesion, reconciliation and nation building…it should be noted that the only two Christian holidays which are officially recognised are Good Friday and Christmas. Both these days are not only recognised in South Africa but are specifically also celebrated internationally. The FF Plus wants to call on all Christian churches in SA to participate in these public hearings to ensure that the voice of Christians in SA is heard. For too long Christian churches have been quiet about issues which affect their members.”
But the Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference welcomed the hearings and said they ‘value the debate’.
Christians may send written submissions to: Sipho Mantula: firstname.lastname@example.org. The CRL requests that people making submissions specify their church denomination and city.
CRL hearings will take place as follows:
Bloemfontein (14-15 June) at the Mangaung Municipality Offices – Bunga Auditorium,
Durban (21 June) at eThekwini Municipality Offices, Mandela Room and
Cape Town (28 June), Cape Town Civic Centre (to be confirmed).
Anybody wishing to attend hearings should contact Sipho Mantula on 084 781 5587 or 011 537 7600 for an invitation. Registration for all hearings is essential and starts at 8:30am.
“Please urgently request your Church to send a representative to these hearings to protect and defend South Africa’s Christian cultural heritage,” says ACA.
“This is an excellent opportunity to share the Gospel through sharing the meaning of Christ’s birth, death and Resurrection, with the commissioners and people from other religions at the hearings!”