Professor Pieter Coertzen, chairperson of the South Africa Council for Religious Rights and Freedoms, and professor Rassie Malherbe, advisor to the Council, have written the Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms.
In an article on FOR SA, Freedom of Religion South Africa, they describe their project.
To assist in making this broadly available for religions to review and adopt we are reprinting their description of the Charter and the Code of Conduct for Religions and their link to the code for visitors to our site:
“The right to freedom of religion protected in the Constitution, is foundational to an open and democratic society”
“The right to freedom of religion protected in the Constitution is foundational to an open and democratic society in which people may safely pursue their convictions and practise their religion within the legal framework provided by the State. The various elements of religious freedom are explained more fully in the Charter for Religious Rights and Freedoms—a document initiated by religious representatives and endorsed and supported by most religious groupings, communities and leaders in South Africa.
“The South African Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (the CRRF) which is the designated keeper and protector of the Charter, firmly believes that the recently exposed and deplorable abuses in certain religious communities should not be combatted by way of the regulation of religion by the State, as this would restrict religious freedom to an intolerable degree. Apart from strict and effective law enforcement whenever offences are committed, or other unlawful conduct occurs, we believe the proper approach would be for the religious communities of South Africa to bring their own house in order. The religious community desires to be a law-abiding and responsible segment of society exercising a healthy and constructive influence, and therefore we should act pro-actively before the State feels compelled to step in.
“The Council for Religious Rights and Freedoms accordingly joins others in calling for the development by the religious sector of a Code of Conduct for religious communities and leaders in which we commit ourselves to the eradication of abuses and the promotion of responsible and commendable conduct in religion.
“The Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms is based upon the assumption that every right has an implied and corresponding responsibility which is expected from the one enjoying the right. By enumerating and explaining the various elements of the right to religious freedom, the Charter by implication provides a useful account of responsibilities that could be included in a code of conduct for religious communities and leaders….”
Inquiries may be directed to Professor Pieter Coertzen, Chair of the Council for Religious Rights and Freedoms, telephone number 021-887 2619, email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.