Newsflash: Friday, 24 August

 24 August ENG

Dear Colleague,

1.  CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

I think you are all aware of the investigation by and recommendations of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (referred to as CRL) on the commercialization of Religion.

The position which was taken by the AFM of SA was that there should be no state regulation of religious groups. We advocated for self-regulation. Our position was based on two grounds, namely that there are enough laws in the country to curb commercialization of religion and of course the fact that the country’s constitution provides for freedom of religion. State regulation would undermine this freedom.

Parliament’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Portfolio did not accept the CRL recommendations. They felt that state regulation of religious organizations would be unconstitutional.  However, having these, it is a matter of concern that religious abuse is experienced in some quarters. Examples hereof are sexual abuses and religious malpractices which are subjects of public discourse.

It is for this reason that we agree with a broad code of conduct for Religious organizations as proposed by the South African Council for Religious Rights and Freedoms (CRRF). Unfortunately, we did not receive the first draft of the proposed code from CRRF. We, however, received the second draft. The NLF (National Leadership Forum) members were requested to make inputs. After receiving these inputs our General Secretary forwarded our position to the CRRF.

The underlined words and phrases indicate adjustments to the first draft while words and phrases in red fonts are AFM inputs. I have also included the letter dated 30 July 2018 from Dr Henri Weideman, our General Secretary to the Secretary of CRRF with further remarks from our side. These documents can be downloaded here:

 Proposed Code of Conduct for Religions in South-Africa 2

 Letter to SA Council for Religious Rights and Freedoms (003)

2.  LAND EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

This is one of the emotional issues currently in the public domain. The AFM made its submission to the Parliamentary Committee that acts on this matter. In our submission we requested for an opportunity to also do oral submission.

We have been granted an opportunity to do the oral submission in Parliament on 5 September 2018. To this end we solicit your prayers. We will also appreciate your further inputs to the written submission that we made earlier. This submission is available from:
http://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Further inputs can be mailed to:
viewpoint@afm-ags.org OR chantalle@afm-ags.org

3.  AFM GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING (GBM) & NATIONAL CONFERENCE
The 2018 AFM General Business Meeting (GBM) is scheduled for 10-13 September 2018, at Woord-en-Lewe in Boksburg (Gauteng). The National Conference, however, will commence on Sunday evening, 9 September 2018 and conclude on Wednesday evening, 12 September 2018.

We want to encourage all pastors to pre-register and pay well in advance to avoid unnecessary administration at the GBM. Avoid the long queues and ensure that your registration experience is efficient. All information needed to pre-register can be found on the AFM website from the following link:
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

Also note that registrations can now be done online:
http://afm.easychurch.co.za/?page_id=253

There are important constitutional amendments that will be discussed for adoption by the 2018 GBM. These amendments will have significant bearing on the election of Office Bearers in 2020. They deal with the experience required for those elected to lead the church at regional and national level, transitional mechanisms post elections, orientation of newly elected Office Bearers and their core responsibilities. Your attendance and participation would contribute to these discussions and decisions to be taken.

We will have a special service on Sunday evening (9.09.2018) to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the AFM of SA. Special Guests from other church organisations have been invited to attend this specific service. You cannot afford to miss it! Further we have PCD sessions which will be beneficial to both pastors and members of the church.

I am urging all pastors, assembly leaders and members of the church to attend this important event. I am looking forward to meeting you at the 2018 GBM in Boksburg!

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo