Churches have a big role to play in protecting the country's democracy and freedom, ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma said yesterday.
He was speaking at a prayer hosted for him by the Rivers of Living Waters Ministry in Evaton, south of Johannesburg, where the church officially adopted the Freedom Charter yesterday.
Zuma said the charter was the bible of the ANC.
"The adoption of the Freedom Charter places you in a demanding position to help the ANC and the government to do the right thing," he said.
Four bishops, from different churches, put their hands on Zuma and prayed for him during the service.
Zuma later changed his grey designer coat for a red coat worn by male members of the Rivers of Living Waters Ministry. He also challenged the church to define its role in nation building.
"We are at a time when people don't respect others' lives . how do you change rapists and murderers?" Zuma asked more than 2000 of the followers.
After his speech Zuma joined gospel music star Solly Moholo in singing Mshini wami, a struggle song associated with Zuma.
Earlier church leader Bishop Steven Zondo urged the ANC to come back to the church. In a statement read by Pastor George Lebuse, Zondo said the ANC would be cleansed of all evil should it come back to the church.
The Freedom Charter is a set of principles adopted by the ANC at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on June 26 1955, many of which have been incorporated into the constitution.
The service was attended by South African National Civic Organisation president Mlungisi Hlongwane, Emfuleni municipality mayor Dikeledi Tsotetsi and other councillors. - Sapa