WCAR: Religious authorities pledge to tackle racism

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- The National Religious Leaders Forum (NRLF) in South Africa has pledged to work within religious communities to eradicate racism, in line with the objectives of the World Conference on Racism in Durban later this month.
Representatives from the South African Council of Churches, the Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities as well as the Rhema Church pledged "to try harder to preach and practise human equality within our own faith communities and to encourage social and cultural contacts between people of different ethnic or language backgrounds.
" The NRLF was formed in 1997 in response to a call by former President Nelson Mandela for religious leaders to help government improve the moral climate in society.
"So far our religious teachings have failed to dispel strong prejudice amongst some adherents of our various faiths," the forum said in a statement, adding "this is a challenge to all who preach about the kinship and unity of mankind".
The NRLF has not taken positions on contentious issues, such as the call from Arab countries to debate Zionism as a form of racism.
Meanwhile, South Africa's Democratic Alliance on Wednesday warned that the absence of opposition political parties at the conference would only serve to divide South Africa even further.
The preparatory committee for the conference earlier announced that delegations would not be made up of political party representatives, but rather envoys of government.
The conference will be preceded on 28 August by a conference of NGOs, in which political parties would be free to take part.

02 august 2001 17:47:00

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