Today, more than ever, we appreciate what Mr. Nelson Mandela did for us as citizens of South Africa; he paved the way to freedom. With that being said, since the day we chose to preach the word of GOD in accordance with our belief – which subsequently resulted in a new church grouping in South Africa – our ‘freedom to choose’ came under fire.

Inexperienced as we were, we could never have imagined that there would be such a backlash due to us exercising our right to freely choose our faith and with whom we want to associate ourselves. Today, more than ever, we understand and acknowledge that both parties – the individual who chooses to stay and the one who chooses to move on – will experience immense emotional pain.

This is not something new in life, however, the process of choosing to leave something or someone, only to join something new or someone new has been going on since creation.

Faith and Religion are not excluded from this process; in fact, when a person chooses to join a new religion, denomination or a new faith, this action will have far-reaching consequences and will result in one of the most emotional and life-changing experiences of that person’s life.

The tragedy, however, is the way in which some people are treating those individuals who choose to exercise this freedom that South Africa (led by someone as powerful and influential as Mr. Mandela) paid such a dear price for, by name-calling, ridiculing, marginalising or even insulting the person and/or the group that individual chooses to join.

What is most unfortunate, is that the very same people who choose to harass those who exercise their freedom of choice – whether it be religion or the association with something or someone different – are also persecuting the very same freedom that Mr. Nelson Mandela and those who struggled with him, fought for.

I have come to the realisation that some people struggle with the fact that every single person has the right to exercise freedom of choice.