AfriForum ready for legal battle to retain religion in schools

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“AfriForum’s legal team is ready for participation as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the legal case to protect the practice of religion in schools.”

That was the reaction of this civil rights organisation after it became clear that the case in which six schools were challenged with court action by the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy due to their religious policy, was placed on the roll of the South Gauteng High Court for 15 to 17 May 2017.

Antichristian fundamentalists already threatened in October 2009 that schools with a Christian ethos will be taken to court.

Back then AfriForum already took a strong stance against it and said that the organisation will support schools against such legal actions.

In 2014 the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy challenged six schools with court action due to their Christian religious policy. These schools are Laerskool Randhart, Laerskool Baanbreker, Laerskool Garsfontein, Hoërskool Linden, Hoërskool Oudtshoorn and Oudtshoorn Gimnasium.

The Federation of Governing Bodies for South African Schools (FEDSAS) represents these six schools in the case, with AfriForum being involved in the case as amicus curiae (friend of the court) and also supporting the schools with legal costs.

In 2015, AfriForum launched a campaign for the retention of religion in schools, as well as to gain support and create awareness for this court case.

Rev. Henk Stavast and Derick Francis covered 6 000 km by bicycle across the country as part of this fundraising campaign to raise money for this matter, but also to inform people about the situation and the negative consequences that may follow if religion is to be removed from schools.

Hykie Berg, AfriForum and Laerskool Jacobsdal also embarked on a hiking tour in the Drakensberg for the same reason.

The support for the projects was extremely positive and proved once again the importance of religion in general and Christianity in particular in schools, for the schools, learners and parents.

Statement issued