By Eliaser Ndeyanale
A motion for the State to regulate churches in Namibia was received with mixed feelings in the National Assembly on Wednesday last week.
Contributing to the debate on the mushrooming of churches, prophets and pastors in the country, Justice Minister Albert Kawana suggested that churches and their leaders should be investigated as some were headed by crooks.
“Some of these people are on Interpol’s wanted list. They ran away from their countries, they came here and became overnight millionaires,” the minister said.
Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh also backed Kawana saying that pastors and prophets win people’s souls “falsely for God”.
Republican Party (RP) only Member of Parliament Clara //Gowases although agreeing to the fact that measures must be put in place to combat immoral and bewildering religious doctrines, she said some churches were helpful to communities.
“The State cannot control churches because both the State and the church are independent entities and they have different roles to play in our society.
“The State together with the CCN (Council of Churches in Namibia) or the Association of Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches in Namibia (ACPCN) should come up with measures and guidelines to regulate and formulate the establishment of churches.
“I am a member of a Pentecostal church. Our church really contributes to the enrichment of our church members, especially the elders and unemployed. i.e. every month 38 pensioners receive N$400 each, it’s N$15 200 per month.
“The church also spends N$36 488 on food bags that are distributed to hundred pensioners and employed church members,” she said adding that all Pentecostal churches must not be painted with the same brush.
“Let’s refrain from generalising and stereotyping the way we worship.”
Poverty Eradication Minister Bishop Zephania Kameeta, in his contribution, noted that mushrooming of churches is not a problem, but the delinquencies being committed by some religious leaders is the concern. “The problem is the criminality by these so-called pastors. There are people who call themselves prophets but they are criminals, so let’s focus on the criminal activities but not at the mushrooming of churches.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015