Religious forum celebrates women, dignity

The South African Religious Forum members at the Castle of Good Hope.

The South African Religious Forum (SARF) is marking Women’s Month by celebrating the role of women, particularly those in leadership and religion.

The forum planned to host an event at the Caste of Good Hope yesterday, to create awareness about the destitute and vulnerable in society and pray for humanity and dignity.

At a media briefing ahead of yesterday’s planned event, SARF chairperson Bishop Templeton Mbekwa, said: “In many parts of the world, women are still left behind, and women in leadership need to be celebrated.

We also want to use this opportunity to send a sincere apology to women all over the world – the ones we didn’t take care of, and for the abuse they’ve had to endure because of this.”

He said religious leaders cannot remain silent with the state that the country is in.

“Cape Town is the murder capital of South Africa, but it is our duty as citizens to tell the world that there is a God in Cape Town.”

The right to freedom of religion was also discussed.

Reverend Gregg Fick said everyone had the right to practice their religion without prejudice.

“SAFR strongly defends equality and the fight continues. We are calling for an anti-discriminatory approach to deal with freedom of religion without prejudice.”

The Khoi community was also represented at the event, as they were celebrating their New Year, which falls in August.

Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie said human dignity was the centre of the event and of the work of faith leaders, and that they have the responsibility to bring back honour to the communities of Cape Town.

Reverend Zama Mfihlo said it was time for the faith base to say no to crime.

“We want to go out into the streets freely, and we need the government to hear our voices and prayers clearly. We need our communities to pray together, stand together, and say that this is enough.”

Yesterday’s event was to start with a prayer walk from Keizersgracht Street to the Castle of Good Hope.