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Freedom of Religion goes to court to have faith-based gatherings unbanned

The group believes it is discriminatory for certain establishments, like restaurants and gyms, to be allowed to open while places of worship remain closed.

FILE: The Al-Khair Mosque in Mitchells Plain reopened under strict conditions in June 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Freedom of Religion South Africa is heading to court to ask that government's current and indefinite ban on faith-based gatherings be lifted as part of lockdown regulations.

The group this week issued papers in the Johannesburg High Court.

It believes it is discriminatory for certain establishments, like restaurants and gyms, to be allowed to open while places of worship remain closed.

"At the moment, the regulations impose a total ban on all faith-based gatherings. Our contention is that given the other sectors of our society are permitted to gather, albeit limited numbers and subject to the necessary protocol, why should the religious community be unfairly discriminated against?" said the group's executive director Michael Swain.

Swain said various sectors of society must be treated the same unless there were genuine and evidential reasons not to.

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