Ethiopia sees a new rule to ban religion-oriented messages at public places

Posted on October 1, 2012


Saturday, 29 September 2012 05:37

The Ministry of Federal Affairs said yesterday that it is in due course to formulate a new law that bans any religious songs, pictures as well as proverbs from public place in a bid to deter causes of religion-based conflicts. According to the Ministry, the new law will be designed particularly in a bid to prohibit display of religious pictures and proverbs as well as the act of playing religious hymens in public transportation and hotels.

Abebe Worku, public relations head, told The Reporter that in order to establish an orderly organized system of religious practice in the country and to promote smoother relations among diversified religious and racial groups, the Ministry is considering a new regulation and proclamation that governs the public display of any religious pictures and proverbs and playing of hymn in public transportation outside religious sites.

The ministry said that it had organized a committee to study the situation and see the possibilities of enacting the law based on the agreement of the public.

After the committee finalizes the study, it will discuss the details with different sections of the society in order to create a common understanding

In various public service enterprises such as taxis, public transportation, hotels and other institutions, there need to have a proper law that ensures an order regarding religious messages, pictures, display, and any electronic based hymns. These may instigate public conflicts and religious tensions.

So the Ministry of Federal Affairs is considering and organizing forums to discuss how to formulate regulations and proclamations that prohibit religion-oriented displays and messages to prevent conflicts among different religious groups.

“The issue of religious affair is naturally deep, so it needs deep regulation and proclamation which we are working on it,” he added.

This also includes how to prevent sound pollution that needs order and regulation.

However, he told The Reporter, the draft bill is yet to be crafted as it needs detailed discussion and consultation among various stakeholders.

Mainly, the newly proposed bill will contain the proper regulation and proclamation that focuses on taxis, hotels and similar other public places including street preaching and religious song selling outside religious places. So far there are specific points that are placed as an article. It also covers a loud voice praying in residence areas,

Taxis, hotels and public places are a common service for everyone. They are not supposed to serve only for a specific religion followers. They are for all people without any discrimination.

Any public display of a religion should not be a cause for conflict. Of course constitutionally any one is granted religious freedom. And anyone can express his or her religion as being the greatest but it should not undermine other’s religion or belief, he added.

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