The Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum Executive and Working Committee met at Bishopscourt on the 25 May, under the Chairmanship of Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. At that meeting the forum looked at its own structures, its relationship to NILC and at the same time reflected on the urgent societal issues of this week. The Forum issued the following statement on three concerns which were raised:
1. Concerning the death of infants in the Eastern Cape Hospital -
It is with great sadness and concern that we read in the media of the large number of infant deaths occurring in our hospitals. We call upon the authorities to investigate the cause of these tragedies and that steps be taken to ensure that this does not happen again, and that those responsible are held accountable. We assure the families of the affected of our prayers that they may find consolation in this their time of bereavement.
2. On the import the Zapiro cartoon had on our Muslim brothers –
We were also very concerned to hear of the hurt which cartoons or statements that demean religious leaders cause to members of our community, and urge that all should show respect for other people’s faith beliefs.
3. On the interreligious scene –
We also heard of the continued incarceration and persecution of members of the Bahai community in Iran, and we call upon all Iranians to take action to ensure that this persecution ends.
Issued by Archbishop T Makgoba, Chair of the WCRLF Executive on behalf of the WCRLF.
For more information on the WCRLF contact Fr John Oliver (Convenor) or Mrs Elizabeth Petersen at 021 462 2277 (office hours)
Note to editors: The names of those who were present at the meeting yesterday: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Revd Canon Robert Butterworth, Moulana Abdul-Khaliq Allie, Revd Mandla D Makha, Lester Hoffman, Mickey Glass, Tahirih Matthee, Sheihk Abdulhamied Gabier, Bongile Mawawa Mose, Guru Krishna, Revd John Oliver, Revd Barry Isaacs, Elizabeth Petersen.