Council of Churches in Namibia Seeks Constitutional Amendments to Include More Members

Windhoek – The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), currently composed of 16 member churches, is holding a three-day meeting to discuss potential constitutional changes that would allow for the inclusion of additional churches.

According to Namibia Press Agency, the meeting, which is taking place until July 11, focuses on lowering the current membership requirement from 5,000, a threshold many smaller churches cannot meet. “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,” Fredricks stated in an interview with Nampa.

The CCN serves as an ecumenical body, supporting its members in addressing both spiritual and socio-economic challenges within the community. Its membership includes traditional churches such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Diocese, all of which meet the 5,000-member criterion. It also includes 10 associate members comprising some Pentecostal churches and three observer members.

In a related development, CCN executive committee chairperson Heinz Mouto, during a recent courtesy visit to President Nangolo Mbumba, disclosed that the council is proposing a comprehensive review of church registration in Namibia. This initiative aims to regulate church activities more closely in response to concerns over community exploitation, including sexual exploitation and money laundering. “Different groups have already started with the process of a Private Members Bill to have the government regulate churches in Namibia,” Mouto noted.

Mouto also highlighted the council’s planned assessment involving various stakeholders such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security; the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade; the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare; and the Business Intellectual Property Authority. This assessment aims to regulate the burgeoning number of churches, a move supported by traditional authorities who have requested verification from the CCN before allowing churches to acquire land for services.

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