Wed. Jul 17th, 2019

Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition in march for global freedom of religions

The rally, which opposed human rights abuses by religious institutions globally, was held across Southern Africa, between 2 and 3 February 2019, in various cities including, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Harare and Windhoek

 

By Nombulelo Malinga

 

The Global Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition together with human rights organisations, religious leaders and youth and women organisations joined their voices and called for religious freedom at Johannesburg’s iconic Constitution Hill.

The rally, which opposed human rights abuses by religious institutions globally, was held across Southern Africa, between 2 and 3 February 2019, in various cities including, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Harare and Windhoek.

This as the world celebrates the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week to promote peace and tolerance among religions and religious institutions.

“The right to religious freedom has increasingly come under threat across the world during 2018, with hostile practices taking place under the guise of protecting national security or countering terrorism,” said the rally’s host and member of the Global Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition in South Africa Amlindile Mapitiza.

…including the cases of local pastors Shepherd Bushiri and the Mancoba brothers

In South Africa, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religions and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) is increasing its activities to mediate infringements committed by religious institutions, including the cases of local pastors Shepherd Bushiri and the Mancoba brothers.

Internationally civil society organisations are calling for governments to intervene and close down religious institutions abusing individuals’ rights to practice their religions of choice freely.

The Global Citizens’ Human Rights Coalition is made up of about 100 organisations in South-Korea, including the International Women’s Peace Human Rights Commission, the Christian Association for Anti-Corruption National Movement and the World Buddhist Summit.

It was established to expose the practice of coercive conversion in the country and to call for the shutdown of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK) after a 27-year-old woman, Ji In Gu, was murdered for refusing to abandon her faith. On the 27 January 2019 the coalition hosted a rally in Seoul where 30,000 people gathered to promote this cause.

See Link:

Remember Gu: Religious suppression raises human rights concerns in democratic South Korea

 

“In 2018 alone, according to our estimates, the number of coercive conversion victims reached 147, with many others unaccounted for,” Mapitiza said.

Perpetrators of these forced conversions approach the families of individuals belonging to churches not associated with the CCK and convince them to participate in the process, intended to impose the organisation’s doctrine on the person.

These conversions often include violence and intimidation.

According to the coalition the CCK is not a religious organisation but was formed with a political motive, violating South Korea’s laws which call for the separation of the state and religion.

Its leaders use government agencies to bully churches not affiliated with it and sell positions of authority in the organisation as well as pastorships, said another representative of the coalition Siphesihle Nqanqweni.

Some of its pastor have been found guilty on about 12 000 counts of crime in the last 10 years, including fraud, rape, sexual abuse, embezzlement and murder, she said.

“To call them a criminal organisation would not be an exaggeration. This is a disgrace to the name of religion, but also to the religious world,” Nqanqweni said.

Doreen Taylor, a member of the public in attendance, said the CCK should be made to account for its actions. “The thought of actually having to lose my child to a cult like this disgusts me,” she said. “[The CCK] guys are sick. They should be punished. They do not deserve to take another breath of air.”

Religious leader in the Hindu faith Ramalin Chris Moodley said the CCK “do not have humility and are tyrants that want other people to follow what they want and that is not right. We should be free to choose whatever we want.”

 

Malinga is HWPL Media Correspondent. Contact her on 0645431277.

 

In South Africa, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religions and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) is increasing its activities to mediate infringements committed by religious institutions, including the cases of local pastors Shepherd Bushiri and the Mancoba brothers.

 

Some leaders use government agencies to bully churches not affiliated with it and sell positions of authority in the organisation as well as pastorships, said another representative of the coalition, according to Siphesihle Ngqangweni.

 

Comment on this report: Call/text/whatsapp: (+27) 834767918

Twitter:@realdigitalnews

Facebook: Zimbabwe Digital News