This week, the African Religious and Traditional Leaders Council (ARTLC) met for the sole mission to unite all religions and traditional leaders in South Africa. Led by Member of Parliament, Bishop Mbekwa, the event was attended by over 74 leaders from various religions – Christians, Muslims, Hindu, Scientologists and more.
The event, held at Castle Kyalami was opened with an interfaith prayer from Christan, Muslim and Hindu leaders; a Sangoma even graced the stage to ask for blessing from the ancestors for this prestigious ceremony. The prayer was followed by an impactful speech from the Church of Scientology promoting and supporting the notion of religious unity.
One of the spearheads of the event, Sheik Walid El Saadi, Executive Advisor for the Muslim World League and the Church of Scientology have been advocating for religious tolerance for decades now, were also made part of the council established to be the national parliamentary, ministerial and presidential advisory committee on all religious and traditional affairs.
Bishop Mbekwa, Pastor Bert Pretorius, Leader of a Rhema Christian Church in Pretoria and Mr. Punjit of the Hindu community were just some of the guests at the event.
The senior executive of the CRL Rights Commission (Cultural, Religious and Linguistics Rights Commission) took the stage and announced that “seeing this group of powerful leaders coming together in interfaith work for the betterment of all makes it possible for him to now move forward on forming a formal government partnership with the entire organization as the Religious and Cultural advisory council and that he would be proceeding with that process” concluding the event
Another prominent guest in attendance was Mr. Mosawenkosi Monaheng, the President of the Black Business Group. Who said“I was very impressed with the diverse attendance at this event and the fact that Churches are facilitating such an atmosphere. I now know what I need to do in my business. I need to have a diversified board where all different cultures are represented! I am really impressed and inspired by this”.
The President of the Church of Scientology, Gaetane Asselin said “We have been striving for this unity for decades now and it is a huge honour for us to be part of the movement”.
“Faith and traditional values are an important part of all our lives and to see all of us coming together for the betterment of all is truly a milestone” -concluded Asselin.