Godsdiensvryheid in Suid-Afrika Bedreig

Godsdiensvrygeid 800x600PRETORIA – ‘n Nuwe wetsontwerp wat godsdiensvryheid in Suid-Afrika aan bande kan lê, word tans oorweeg en sal moontlik gedurende Maart 2017 aan die parlement voorgelê word.

Die wetsontwerp in sy huidige vorm het egter verreikende implikasies vir Christene, ander gelowe en vryheid van spraak, aangesien dit ‘n sterk klemverskuiwing bevat om politieke korrektheid te akkommodeer. Die “waarheid” en “politieke korrektheid” is egter telkens in ‘n tweestryd gewikkel, en die “waarheid” kan op hierdie wyse gesnoer word bloot op grond van ander se gemak sones.

Om polities korrek te wees, beteken bloot dat niks gesê mag word wat ander ongemaklik kan laat voel nie. ‘n Onlangse voorbeeld hiervan was die SABC se verbod op berigte oor onluste, bloot omdat dit die ANC-regering in ‘n ongemaklike situasie plaas.

Die implikasie vir Christene is egter verreikend aangesien ‘n verbod geplaas kan word op sekere gedeeltes van die Bybel, bloot omdat iemand byvoorbeeld ongemaklik kan voel wanneer hy hoor “dat die hel sy voorland is indien hy nie tot bekering sou kom nie”. Indien ‘n persoon dan nie gehoor gee aan beperkings wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse regstelsel bepaal word nie, kan daardie persoon drie jaar gevangenisstraf opgelê word, wat verleng kan word na tien jaar indien ‘n oortreding herhaal sou word.

Suid-Afrikaners, Christene en alle ander belangegroepe wat voel dat hul vryhede hierdeur ingeperk kan word, word aangeraai om vroegtydig hul insette te lewer op die nuwe wetsontwerp. Die finale datum vir insette is uitgeskuif van 01 Desember 2016 tot 28 Februarie 2017. Kommentaar met spesifieke verwysing na aanhalings in die wetsontwerp kan per epos gestuur word aan hatecrimes@justice.gov.za

Hierna volg verskeie skakels na eksterne bronne vir addisionele informasie.

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EKSTERNE SKAKELS

Die volgende gedeelte is in Engels aangesien dit aanhalings vanaf die betrokke webtuistes is.

Freedom of Religion at Risk in South Africa

Regulating Religion

Recently we saw the ANC government advocating a series of legislation that could pose some of the greatest threats to religious freedom and free speech ever seen in our country. On Wednesday 26 October 2016, the CRL Rights Commission released its report on what they called the “Commercialisation” of religion and “abuse of people’s belief systems” on its www.crlcommission.org.za website under Commercialisation Report. Pages 31 to 39 contain the Commission’s proposals for regulation of religious groups.

Redefining Hate Speech

In another threat to religious freedom, the “Hate Speech” Bill was released in the same week as the CRL’s Report. The Bill’s extremely broad definition of hate speech under section 4 of the Bill includes in its scope any communication which is considered “abusive or insulting” and intended to “bring into contempt or ridicule” a person, or group of persons, on the basis of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. This includes email, or social media communications as well as teachings from a pulpit, or in a Bible study. Instead of an objective definition of what constitutes “hate speech” (for example those who sing “Kill the Boer! Kill the Farmer!” or those advocating Islamic Jihad to behead Christians), this bill seeks to focus on subjective definitions of where an individual may feel offended, even if that was not the intention. “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15

Read more at Christian Action

Six schools in court to defend their right to follow Christian religion
Katharine Child – 14 November, 2016

Can children pray to only one God at school?

Six former Model C schools – whose pupils recite Christian prayers in assembly, pray before sport matches and describe themselves as having a predominantly “Christian ethos” – will have to defend their right in court to follow a single religion.

The case, to be heard by the Johannesburg High Court, will have implications for any state school that promotes one religion – in dress code, prayers or readings – even if the religion reflects the belief system of the majority.

OGOD, the Organisasie Vir Godsdienste Onderrig en Demokrasie, says in its heads of arguments, filed last week, that the constitution and the National Policy on Religion and Education do not allow for a single religion to be dominant at a public institution.

Read more at Times Live

Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill fraught with problems

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development recently released the long-awaited and very controversial Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. (The Bill is available for download at http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/invitations/invites.htm).

In essence, the bill creates two new criminal offences in South African law, namely “hate crimes” and “hate speech”. In terms of the bill, the penalty for “hate speech” is a fine or three years’ jail time for a first offence, and 10 years for a repeated offence.

Read more at Gateway News

Religious Leaders Concerned About State Capture of Religion
Nov 4, 2016

This week, Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) convened meetings in Cape Town and Johannesburg to analyse and raise serious concerns in response to the CRL Rights Commission’s Report on the “Commercialisation of Religion”, which was released last week. These meetings were attended by over 200 senior religious and church leaders and denominational heads from across the faith community.

Read mote at For SA

Keep religion free from regulation in South Africa

The proposals contained in the CRL Report represent an unacceptable erosion of your rights to freedom of religion and association guaranteed by the South African Constitution. It is not for the State, or any other body, to decide which religions qualify as a “religion”, or to sit as “judge” over the doctrines of religious institutions, and decide whether they can operate.

Read more at Change

Constitution, Charter and religions in South Africa
By: Pieter Coertzen – Unit for the Study of Law and Religion, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

This article discusses the status of religious rights and freedoms under the South African Constitution and the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms. Following a discussion of the demographics of religious and ethnic pluralism in South Africa, the article discusses the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Charter and historical antecedents in common law and Roman-Dutch law and the historical and contemporary influence of African traditional religion and customary law that have shaped the current relationship of the Christian church to the South African state. The article concludes with an argument for the recognition of a plurality of religions and religious legal systems in Africa.

Read more at SA Legal Information Institution

CRL Rights Commission’s Preliminary Report of the Hearings on Commercialisation of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems

Read the Preliminary Report

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