Priests should preach against corruption and social injustice

Dr Guru Kistnasamy.

Corruption, bribery, theft and lies by politicians are sinful acts. Why are there only a handful of priests who speak out against these sins and other forms of social injustice in this country?  One can perhaps understand that during apartheid, these priests may have feared the special branch of the police, but in democracy they are still silent.

Leaders of churches, mosques and temples have an obligation to condemn corruption in government. They should not be afraid or assume that they don’t have the ability to do so. Even the layman is marching to end corruption.

The Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum was formed as a platform to share theological reflections from different faiths perspectives. It was said there that religious leaders play an important role in organising civil society and have an ability to be a force for progress in South Africa.

Hennie van Vuuren, a corruption expert, said religious leaders across South Africa needed to demonstrate renewed willingness to work with civil society to engage meaningfully to curb corruption.

Sister Pratiba Daya of the Brahama Kumaris said that one of the sources of corruption is the obsession with relative material gain.

She contends that when society becomes more fulfilled spiritually, the material hunger will end, and this will curb the tendency towards corruption. Thus faith and spiritual organisations have a fundamental role to play in helping people to find deeper meaning and fulfilment.

The religious leaders in the Western Cape urged citizens to stop being complacent, to stand up for their rights and to hold government and business accountable. Archbishop Makgoba said, “We can change the way our country works. If we are not part of the solution, then the likelihood is that we are part of the problem because to do nothing is to allow corruption to continue.”

Imam Rashied Omar declared that we are in danger of losing our humanity. It is time for all of civil society to reclaim our honour and integrity as a society. If you are a religious leader, preach against corruption in government. If you are a member of the church, temple or mosque, advocate for sermons against social injustice in our country.

The views mentioned in this blog are that of the columnist. 


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