The CRL Rights Commission mapped out for investigating the ever growing commercialization of religion has pleaded with law enforcement agencies to step in and call church leaders who are increasingly breaking the law in the name of religion to order.
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), has made it a point of duty to summon pastors to appear before the committee in charge of investigating the abuse of people’s belief systems.
At the hearings held in Eastern Cape this week, chairwoman of the CRL Rights Commission Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said:
“The very important concerns would be when people break the laws of the country. It is very urgent that law enforcement should do what they have to do.
“But we are also concerned that most men of God don’t seem to be running effective and efficient gathering systems in terms of whether they are registered and banking.”
She admonished church leaders who are yet to receive summonses from the commission to stick to the rules of the commission by registering their churches, opening bank accounts, depositing donated money and having their finances audited annually.
Last month, a director in charge of registration at the Department of Social Development reported to the commission that as of January 22, more than 10,000 churches had broken the stipulated law due to noncompliance with the Nonprofit Organisations Act.
According to her, a total of 18,644 churches were duly registered with the department.
Compliant churches, including the Zion Christian Church, Grace Bible Church, Methodist, Rhema and Catholic Churches have so far submitted audited annual financial statements to the commission for documentation.
Meanwhile, religious leaders from different faiths have appeared for hearing held in different provinces by the CRL Rights Commission.