President Meets Religious Leaders
Religious leaders from across South Africa have appealed to the Government to open places of worship under regulated protocols, via a three hour virtual meeting held with the President and a select group of Ministers on Wednesday 20 May 2020. The general agreement amongst all faith groups is that congregations should not be restricted in totality until a cure is found. The call, by the collective of faith leaders, to open places of worship in a phased approach from risk level 3 is in line with the views of medical experts who suggest that we need to migrate from the ‘lockdown’ approach to instituting ‘appropriate social behaviour’ that will contribute to the protection of lives and livelihoods, both of which are central to the long term stability of South Africa.
UUCSA in particular asserted that the call to open places of worship under regulated protocols is underpinned by the fact that the pulpit plays a central role in holistic healing, moderating social behaviour and enjoys unparalleled social reach essential for educating the masses.
The Presidency has undertaken to study submissions made by several faith based organizations and had assured religious leaders that decision makers will give due consideration to their proposals. He thanked religious leaders for their respectful, articulate and dignified approach in dealing with a matter that is so heart-breaking to all religious communities.
Y Patel (Ml)
21 May 2020