Mfa Decries Mushrooming of New Churches

Gaborone, Botswana -- The Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Oliphant Mfa has expressed concern at the mushrooming of new churches in the country.

Speaking during the occasion to dedicate the Assemblies of God Church new buildings in Palapye over the weekend, Mfa said Botswana respects freedom of worship and this is enshrined in the constitution. "It is through this provision that government allows and facilitates freedom of worship," he said.

However, Mfa said it was disheartening to note that this freedom is being abused by some religious organisations, which have used it to facilitate the mushrooming of new churches with foreign orientation. "These churches have unfortunately diluted our cultural beliefs to the extent that even our customs and values are now looked down upon.

There are disturbing reports that some of these churches actually teach our children to disrespect their parents and dedicate their time and efforts - including money - to the church rather than to take part in the building of family values.

These are issues which should not go unchallenged and I call upon the older churches like the Assemblies of God which have come to appreciate the country's culture, customs and norms, to play a leading role in ensuring that such churches are reported to the relevant authorities so that appropriate measures can be taken before the situation deteriorates any further," he said.