Seventh Day Adventist Church appeals ruling on Sabbath classes

The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) does not want students affiliated to it to attend classes on Friday evening and Saturday as a way of honouring Sabbath. The church wants the Court of Appeal to consider the church’s argument that students who profess to SDA should also celebrate Sabbath by staying away from class. SDA lost its case in the High Court against the Education Ministry in 2013. High Court judge Isaac Lenaola dismissed the case, saying allowing the students not to attend classes would result in chaos in schools. The judge said if schools allowed every denomination to set a day for students to miss classes, then learning would be paralysed. The church, in its papers filed at the Court of Appeal, says Justice Lenaola erred when he failed to consider that students who worship on Sundays are given the opportunity to celebrate their faith whereas those who subscribe to SDA doctrine attend classes on Sabbath. “The learned judge erred in making a legally unmoored distinction between the freedom of religion and freedom to manifest such religion by acts of worship, which distinction cannot obtain and is explicitly repudiated by the express term of Article 32 of the Constitution,” the church says. In its papers filed by Oraro and Company Advocates, the church says the right to worship could not be limited by any other law of the land. The case will be heard on October 24.
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