Friday, October 30, 2009

Democracy Often Devolves to Mob Rule

The Prosecutor who authorised a six-hour raid on a Sunday worship service in a private home has refused to explain why it happened. "It was an official action and I can't discuss it," Victor MacIntosh, Prosecutor of the District, said. He also refused to say what will be done with boxes of Bibles, Christian books and films confiscated during the raid, or whether the church's pastor will face further action.

Janice Lynck, an official of the district Ideology Department, led the raid with four police officers and three "witnesses" as some 20 church members were singing hymns. Lynck denied the raid was a raid. "We acted strictly in accordance with the law. Under the Religious Law, all religious activity requires state approval.

Asked why she and four police officers spent six hours raiding a private house Lynck responded "To prevent them from continuing their worship service. They have no right to meet." Despite this, she insisted: "We live in a democratic state."

The pastor complained that the Prosecutor's warrant authorising the "inspection" gave no reason. "They came in without my permission, turning off the electricity. They photographed every room in the house." She said one of the rooms in the house was locked and she did not have the key, but police merely broke down the door.The church's pastor said that the raid in left church members frightened and in tears.

In other news, a roundtable in the Capitol to discuss the text of a new Religion Law proposed by human rights defenders is hoped to take place on 13 November, despite obstruction by the authorities.

To wish the Church to be subject to the civil power in the exercise of her duty is a great folly and a sheer injustice. Whenever this is the case, order is disturbed, for things natural are put above things supernatural; the many benefits which the Church, if free to act, would confer on society are either prevented or at least lessened in number; and a way is prepared for enmities and contentions between the two powers, with how evil result to both the issue of events has taught us only too frequently.

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