If there was one thing I’d want this country to learn, from anywhere in the world- this is it.
Because of the pedestal religion is placed on worldwide, churches operate to different rules than any other business. So individuals are able to rake in millions in revenue, amass obscene wealth- all at the expense of the ordinary citizen. And it’s tax free too to boot!
Oh, and these churches are serious businesses. They rake in revenue like you wouldn’t believe (who wants to gamble with the state of their immortal soul?), and the preachers end up living as demigods on the face of this earth.
So if the Obinim’s of this world would keep on prospering without any legitimate checks and balances, the least they could do is contribute to the development of the state. (this report states that the tax exempt status of US churches loses the state $71bn in taxes every year)
South Africa seems way ahead of everyone else in that direction. The country has set up a Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission).
The commission is to investigate the commercialisation of religion, as well as the frequent abuse of people’s religious beliefs. Remember, this is the country with the snake swallowing and gasoline drinking congregations.
The commission, headed by Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, are attempting to look into the financial records of churches and determine everything is being kept above board. Unsurprisingly, many pastors are reluctant to reveal that information.
“These people take money from people. What are they doing with that money? We want to know. We will not back down,” she said, according to South Africa’s News24.
“We are forced to take the legal route because some of them are not complying and we cannot be held [to] ransom by a few,”