Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) have posted two online petitions which provide South Africans with an easy way to oppose current government-driven threats to freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The Keep Religion Free from Regulation in South Africa Petition urges the CRL Commission to review and re-consider their recommendations to regulate religious institutions and religious practitioners, and calls on the government to ensure that the existing laws are enforced upon those who perpetrate abuses under the guise of religion.
The Speak out against the draft Hate Speech Bill in South Africa petition calls on the government to postpone the deadline for comment until Wednesday March 1 2017. The bill took nearly four years to draft but the public was given only five weeks — until December 1 — to respond which is unfair and unreasonable. The bill’s definition of hate speech is also very broad which has severe implications for freedom of speech which is guaranteed in the constitution. In its current form preaching of certain biblical texts could result in prosecution, which poses a threat to freedom of religion which is also guaranteed in the constitution. The online petition also calls on the government to ensure that a religious exemption clause is written into the bill. The petition will be handed to the deputy minister of justice.