Religious leaders unite to form the National Interfaith Leaders Council

27 July 2009

Today, 27 July 2009, leaders from various faith organizations convened an urgent meeting in Johannesburg in response to the current impatience with the speed of service delivery by Government, which is contributing to strikes by ordinary members of community.

This meeting, convened and chaired by Pastor Ray McCauley of Rhema Ministries, was attended by more than 20 senior religious leaders from different faith-based formations throughout the country. United under the theme "Thuma Mina/Roma nna or Send me", religious leaders have decided to form an action based structure named the National Interfaith Leaders Council (NILC). The establishment of this Council is also in response to President Jacob Zuma's call for the religious community to partner with Government to establish a cohesive and caring society including an enabling environment for sustainable development.

Pastor Ray McCauley indicated that all previous interactions with the office of the State President have not produced strong and proactive religious leadership structure with ability to respond to the social challenges of the poor and vulnerable. He said that NILC has been formed to correct this.

The meeting offered to assist the government in intervening in the rampant leadership disputes fuelling the current protests and lawlessness in various communities.

The Chief Whip of the Majority Party in Parliament, Dr Mathole Motshekga, also attended this meeting to show Parliament's support for the role of faith and religion in achieving moral regeneration, social cohesion and nation building.

Speaking at this meeting Dr Mathole Motshekga said that "This structure must transcend political affiliations, be inclusive of all Faiths, and be geared towards serving the interest of all people, black and white united in diversity."

The NILC has asked for an urgent audience with the State President, Mr Jacob Zuma, in order to articulate their vision and programs of work to address the social ills of our society.

Issued by:
Dr. John Lamola
Head: Secretariat
National Interfaith Leaders Council
082 9090 185