The Christian population of the Gambia has called for the inclusion of secular in the draft constitution that was published barely a month ago.
Gambia is building a new constitution which omitted secular, describing the country as a “sovereign republic”.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Christian dominations said they have submitted a position paper to the Constitutional Review Commission in which they discuss 20 points including secular.
“Gambia Christian Council is aware that there are some people who are attributing the word secular to irreligious. This is not what GCC is advocating for. We are not against religion and the use of religious symbols,” said Gabriel Mendy, Bishop of Banjul.
Gambia Christian Council is a fellowship of churches and Christian organizations that worship one God in the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Among the demands of the GCC is Government’s noninvolvement in religious affairs, Shari’ah to be applicable to only Muslims, all religions be respected and treated equally, proposed sharia high court be removed and Khadi courts be maintained, no state funds be used to enhance any religious activities, among others.
“Muslims and Christians have been living together. This has been going on for generations and have been the legacy for religious tolerance,” said Mendy.
Gambia has been recognize globally as a country with enviable records of religious tolerance. Rt Revd James Allen Yaw Odico said the country should protect the rights of its minority religions.
“We are not against the Shari’ah law, what we are saying is let it be taken out of the constitution. Let our own religious values guide our actions and not finding themselves in the constitution,” said Odico.