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Nation-wide public consultation on the new draft law on religious freedom, belief and worship – a legal instrument that will lay down the rules disciplining the constitution and organisation of religious denominations in the country – is expected to start shortly in Mozambique.
In addition to regulating the exercise of freedom of religion, belief and worship provided for in Mozambique’s constitution, the instrument will also prevent the proliferation of churches with no clear purposes.
One of the examples cited by National Director of Religious Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Reverend Aaron Litsuri, is the new law stipulating that church leaders must present a certificate of formation in their originating area.
Litsuri notes that the new law has novel features, including requiring a minimum of 500 believers as a pre-requisite for registering a church.
“The law in force at the moment is from the colonial era, produced in 1971. We want to adjust this law to the challenges that are imposed up on us today,” he said.
Mozambique currently has just over 900 legal churches, but has seen a substantial increase in religious sects in some cases considered a threat to political and social stability by the authorities.
MediaFax however says that, despite this new legislation, there are doubts as to whether authorities can stop the growth of sects, because many churches are not legalised.
The new legislation, which has yet to be submitted to parliament, provides for the organisation of platforms in which various sects may unite to become legalised.Source: AIM Moçambique
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