Judgement was reserved today in the court case between OGOD and Fedsas over the practicing of religion in schools. AfriForum described the legal process in the case – which was heard in the Gauteng South High Court over the last three days – as of great importance for all South Africans and believe that Fedsas and various other friends of the Court (including AfriForum) have thoroughly emphasised the importance of the practicing of religion in schools in general and Christian worship in particular.
“As an extremely diverse community, it is essential that all South Africans learn from childhood to respect and mutually recognise people whose cultures and views differ from their own. They must also learn to be comfortable with their own identities, including believes. That is why religious ethos should be retained in schools,” says Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum.
Bailey explains that the practicing of religion cannot, as OGOD proposes, be reduced to an activity that children have to practice in school breaks and before and after school like a hobby. It forms an individual’s values and also daily actions. There should be freedom to practice it, and children should not grow up with the idea that they or their teachers will be punished if acts of faith are not limited to certain times and places. Freedom of religion is after all one of the rights that the Constitution clearly defines.
AfriForum emphasises that the case involves all religions and therefore the community as a whole – judgement will not only determine the future for public schools, but will have a much wider impact.