Mozambique: Reconquering the forbidden road - Report
Photo: O País
The Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Helena Kida, says that there will be opportunity to adjust the law which proposes the payment of taxes by churches and religious denominations.
The proposal was approved just over a month ago by the Council of Ministers, after which some religious denominations and faithful expressed opposition to the idea. In response, Minister Kida this Monday noted that the proposal was not necessarily in its finished form.
Kida said that the proposal had yet to go to the Assembly of the Republic, where various parliamentary commissions would analyse and clarify aspects of it, and civil society would have an opportunity to present their concerns and contributions.
“Parliament represents all sensitivities. Sometimes, there is a proposal that is closed, but when it arrives at the Assembly of the Republic, it is no longer approved the way it came in. This said, we wish to reassure [people] and say that there is still room to improve this instrument,” Helena Kida said.
The minister said that the intention was to arrive at consensus regulation that would be complied with by all. If approved, religious confessions would pay according to revenue received from the believers, whether through offertory, tithe, or in other ways.
“The fact is that there is a proposal for a law to collect taxes, in this case from churches which receive [income]. They will pay a tax corresponding to what is received, but this still goes to parliament and we will see if the final instrument will be approved as proposed or if there will be any changes,” Minister Kida explained.
The payment of taxes by religious denominations is part of the proposed Religious Freedom Law the government recently submitted to parliament with a view to regulating the sector.
By Julieta Zucula