CCN to amend its constitution to cater for more churches

WINDHOEK: The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) which currently has 16 member churches, has convened a three-day meeting aimed at discussing its constitutional amendments to accommodate more churches.

Speaking to Nampa here on Monday, CCN General Secretary James Fredricks explained the meeting, underway until 11 July, would amongst others discuss having the required members lowered from the current 5 000 for CCN membership, as some churches do not have that many members.

CCN is an ecumenical body that exists to support and enable churches to respond in faith to the spiritual and socio-economic needs of all God’s people, commissioned to be a prophetic voice of the poor and other people in society.

It has 16 corporate members of which the majority are from traditional churches such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), the Roman Catholic Church; and the Anglican Diocese amongst others, which meet the 5 000 member requirement, including 10 associate members which include some Pentecostal c
hurches and three observer members.

‘We are going through all the constitutional amendments to see how we can accommodate more churches, however, I cannot anticipate at what number at the moment,’ he said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, CCN executive committee chairperson, Heinz Mouto during a courtesy visit to President Nangolo Mbumba said the council has proposed a comprehensive review with stakeholders regarding the number of registered churches in Namibia to allow for the regulation of churches.

Mouton said the council has taken note of concern in the media about churches that exploit communities, especially relating to sexual exploitation and money laundering, which has led to different groups having already started with the process of a Private Members Bill to have the government regulate churches in Namibia.

He further indicated that the proposed assessment will involve all churches and various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security; Ministry of Industrialisa
tion and Trade; Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare; as well as the Business Intellectual Property Authority regarding the number of registered churches in Namibia.

Mouton also noted that traditional authorities are equally concerned about the proliferation of churches and have requested a letter from the CCN to verify whether a church is a member of the CCN before allowing them to obtain land for conducting church services.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency