Religious Freedom on the Airwaves (12 June 2006) PDF Print E-mail


Attention: The Editor 
The Citizen 
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12 June 2006

RE: Religious Freedom on the Airwaves is Essential

ICASA’s attempts to close down Good News Community Radio Station are disturbing.
Good News Community Radio has faithfully served more than 100,000 listeners for over 10 years. This award winning Christian community radio station was one of the original community stations to begin broadcasting in 1995. 
In view of the enormous amount of manpower and sacrificial financial investment in building up the infrastructure, equipment, skills and listenershp for their tremendously popular station, it is unacceptable that 98 FM, which has, for so long been served by GNCR be handed to any other. 
Surely, this is a matter of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of belief and private ownership of property? 
It is as unacceptable for any government agency to close down a Christian radio station, as it would be for any government to close down a Christian church. Over 108,000 residents in the community have signed petitions in support of GNCR. For almost 11 years 98 FM has been invested in, promoted and built up by GNCR. It is as much their intellectual property as a building, which a church has built up over the last 11 years. If it is wrong to close down a church building, which serves a couple of hundred people, it is even worse to attempt to close down a Christian radio station, which serves approximately 100,000 listeners. 
It is absolutely essential that religious freedom be respected in all areas of life, including on the airwaves. Radio is as much a part of everyday life as computers, cell phones, E-mail, CDs and DVDs. No government has the right to close down Christian churches or Christian radio stations. 
These are essential expressions of freedom of religion, speech, association, conviction and conscience. They are non-negotiable foundations for freedom. 

Yours sincerely 

Dr. Peter Hammond 
Christian Action Network 
Po Box 23632 
Fax: (021)685-5884, 
Tel:             (021) 689-4480      , 
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