South Africa Opens Public School for Church Use Again

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Public schools are again allowed to rent out their facilities for religious gatherings after being banned to do so since the start of the pandemic, according to gateway news.co.za. Church activities are among the most popular activities that happen at schools in South Africa.

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FORSA) has written frequently to the Department of Basic Education to challenge their ban on allowing public schools to accommodate religious gatherings. 

Due to the ban inspired by Covid-19 restrictions, many churches have been unable to meet in schools since the start of the pandemic. The South African Department of Standard Operating Procedures i confirmed this blanket prohibition in February.

FOR SA had initiated a campaign amongst religious leaders to appeal to Minister Angie Motshegka to drop this restriction, which evidently unfairly discriminated against the religious community and infringed religious freedom rights. It was also reported that FORSA was mobilising to present a petition to Parliament to address this issue.

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Gateway news reported that on April 4, the Minister issued new directions to every public school to allow the use of school premises for religious gatherings, provided that standard health, hygiene, and safety protocols for Covid-19 are in place. 

On a similar note, most community recreation centers don’t allow religious activities on their premises.
Many churches have been turned down when they apply to use community recreational facilities.

Reports confirmed that the halls in these recreational centers remain close on Sundays when they could have been used for religious activities, thereby providing revenue for the government.

It was reported that these facilities are used for dance, music, art, etc except for religious activities.

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