Click to see Law and Religion Headlines News for Africa

Click the link above to see a sampling of headlines concerning freedom of religion or belief issues in the countries of Africa, compiled and offered free of charge to users of the ACLARS website by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) in the United States.

New Book by ACLARS member

A new book on Regulating Religion: State Governance of Religious Institutions in South Africa was recently published by Prof Helena van Coller. Prof van Coller is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Rhodes University, South Africa and a member of the Board of Directors of ACLARS. The book is published by Routledge, as part of the ICLARS (International Consortium for Law and Religion Scholars) series on Law and Religion.
This book focuses on government regulation of religious institutions in South Africa. PART 1 explains the meaning of government regulation for religious communities by providing a brief overview of the relationship between church and state, the right to freedom of religion and the legal status of religious organisations. With reference to case examples, this section highlights the importance of religious autonomy and the right to self-determination of religious institutions and non-interference by the state in the internal affairs of the organisation. No fundamental rights are however absolute and the section concludes with a discussion on the limitation of rights and an overview of the relevant constitutional provisions and anti-discrimination laws in place relevant to religious organisations, in the context of equality and non-discrimination. PART 2 discusses in more detail the daily rights, responsibilities and freedoms associated with the right to freedom of religion within some specific spheres of society where regulation of religion has occurred or are necessary or has proved to be problematic. It includes those related to the role of religion in society; the relations between religion and state institutions; education; finance; family matters; employment law; planning law; broadcast media and general governance issues.
For the full details of the book click here

 An ACLARS member describes the book as follows:
“The book is well-written, concise and contains the jurisprudence of law and religion in South Africa…The focus on religious institutions as a context of discussing law and religion in South Africa is another excellent feature. Through this focus, the often-ignored collective dimension of religious freedom is highlighted”

“This book is a worthy contribution that considerably helps our understanding of religious freedom’s collective dimensions in South Africa and the world. We should commend Professor Van Coller for her industry and foresight.”
The full review is available here
A Research Fellow at the Faculty of Canon Law, University of Leuven, Belgium, describes the book as ‘extremely timely as it maps and organizes the scattered South African legal landscape concerning freedom of religion or belief and religious institutions specifically. An organized legal response to the state regulation of religious institutions is much needed in light of added pressure from the South African CRL Commission aiming to regulate religious institutions in order to prevent the “commercialization of religion”. 
See further here