East Cape churches outcry against religious regulation sheds new light — FOR SA

The differences between churches and the CRL Rights Commission reached a new level last weekend when the Weekend Post newspaper led with a report on threats by major churches in the Eastern Cape to campaign against political parties which support the CRL’s religious regulation proposals.

Freedom of Religion SA, which has been mobilising national religious community resistance to what it calls the proposed “state capture of religion”, says the Eastern Cape Church’s stand — in a letter to the ANC’s chief whip — “represents a very significant development, because for the first time since South Africa became a democracy, the Church is threatening to actively campaign against any party which supports the CRL’s proposals and to hold the ANC government (as the majority party) responsible if their recommendations for State regulation of religion become law”.

“The CRL claims that it enjoys broad-based support from the religious community for its proposals. However, well over 200 submissions of objection have already been sent to the COGTA Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and this letter is further proof that the CRL’s proposals are widely seen as unconstitutional, unworkable and unnecessary,” says FOR SA in a press release. FOR SA

Newspaper investigations, following the release of the letter from the Eastern Cape churches and covering letter by Port Elizabeth church leader Dr Jimmy Crompton (See the letters: Chief Whip of the ANC-1), has also brought three “very interesting revelations” to light, said FOR SA executive director Michael Swain in reply to a Gateway News inquiry.

Outlining the “revelations”, he said: “ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the examples of religious leaders abusing their positions had prompted the decision to introduce the CRL commission. For the first time it has been clarified that the ANC appear to have been behind the CRL in this matter, which may also account for their rejection of any alternative suggestions and solutions from the faith community.

“The CRL has apparently recommended that churches should be registered for tax. Regarding the proposed taxation of churches, CRL Chairperson Ms Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said: ‘Of course they are going to complain about this. You and I pay tax’. However, the reason that churches do not pay tax is because all the money they receive is from people whose income has already been taxed, and the work that churches do is entirely charitable and non-profit.

“It is also important to note that the level of opposition to the CRL’s Report is escalating, not decreasing. The threat by a broad cross section of mainline church denominations to ‘strongly encourage our millions of members to vote against any party that supports the CRL report’ is unprecedented.”

Meanwhile FOR SA legal counsel Nadene Badenhorst confirmed yesterday that the CRL has given notice that they will oppose an application by FOR SA to the Johannesburg High Court seeking protection from defamatory statements by the commission to the public and the media aimed at undermining and discrediting FOR SA..

“They [the CRL] now have 15 business days to deliver their answering papers to our application,” she said.


  1. Thank you for spreading the news that the governmentis planning to control us so we no longer have freedom of worship in this country. Can any Christian honestly support a party that wants to oppress the church?

  2. I love the fact that Jesus is directly involved in our country and that the enemy is feeling threatened. I love the fact that in my heart I know….Jesus wins….blessings to all. Let us remain faithful and in prayer for our society….

  3. This is a time for us as believers in Christ to stay on our knees. Do not be afraid, we will see and feel the threats regarding our believe and faith in Jesus. Amen to what Stuart said…. lets stay faithful and in prayer . We will never be alone , NEVER.

  4. They must leave our church leaders alone this people they doing a very good in job in society which our government is lacking to do like to take out the prostituting in the street to help them” to take the youth out from the street like hillbrow before it was always on the news because Of the bad things was happening there, look Hillbrow now its not like before who change that ? No government
    Crl they don’t want know, all they want is to regulate the churches arrest our spiritual leaders from what? we don’t want them to protect us as they claim from what? If they care about our society they should read our petition we have send them and hear from us on how do we feel about this