'Religion in SA is in a state of emergency'

The CRL's Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says the recent events involving churches and religious organisations show the need for citizens to be protected.

FILE: CRL chair Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Head of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says religion, particularly Christianity, in South Africa is in a state of emergency.

The commission is holding a discussion with religious leaders and experts on the prevalence of cults in the country.

Recently, the Seven Angels Ministries has come under the spotlight after their leaders, who refer to themselves as angels, were implicated in the police massacre in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says the recent events involving churches and religious organisations show the need for citizens to be protected.

“As you have seen with what happened in eNgcobo... when we have people who decide to be ‘angels’, there’s no law to stop that.”

Also speaking on the panel was University of Johannesburg Professor Maria Frahm-Arp, who says the prevalence of cults is largely due to socio-economic circumstances.

“People are not stupid… they’re strategic. In desperate situations, people would strategically make decisions to try and make the impossible possible.”

Meanwhile, the CRL has approached the Constitutional Court for clarity on its ability to hold organisations and churches accountable.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)