Breakaway Church Group in Name Hitch

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK The High Court of Namibia has threatened to de-register the Assemblies of God Movement of Namibia if it does not change its current name in a space of two weeks. The Assemblies of God has been in existence for more than 20 years in Namibia. In September 2000, a group from within the Assemblies of God decided to register the church as Assemblies of God Movement in Namibia (Assemblies of God). Chairman of the movement Hiskia Ndjoze Uanivi, in the application for registration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry indicated that though the church has been in existence for over 20 years in Namibia, it has been structurally weak and unorganized. He adds that the movement in 1993 raised its momentum through Christian revivals and manifested itself as a true Pentecostal movement in need of strong leadership. After realizing that Uanivi had registered a different entity from the original movement, the acting secretary of the Assemblies of God, Johannes Ricther and the Church Committee informed the Ministry of Trade that an approved name of the movement already existed and there was a need to change that name. In a letter to the ministry, the committee stated, “we have realized that your ministry has registered another group that is calling themselves the Assemblies of God Movement in Namibia. This renegade group is using our good name to promote their agenda.” The letter further revealed that the group had already started to annex some of the properties as well as monies of the denomination (Assemblies of God). Based on that, the ministry issued a letter to the movement ordering it, according to Section 45 (1) of the Companies Act of 1973, to change the na-me of the church “to a more suitable name within two months from date of this letter”. The letter was issued on December 06, 2001. “The basis of this objection this office made a thorough investigation and found out that there are two similar names on our registers, which is not allowed according to the Companies Act 6.1 of 1973,” the ministry said. The High Court of Namibia last week Wednesday ordered the movement to change its name within 14 days of the date of the order, failing which the court would de-register the current name Assemblies of God Movement of Namibia. “Assemblies of God Movement of Namibia is interdicted and restrained from using this name or any portion thereof in any new name it may choose,” the court order reads. Yesterday Ricther told New Era that the Assemblies of God Movement in Namibia must apply for a new name which is not in conflict with the intellectual property of the Assemblies of God and change its name by July 5, 2006, failing which the Registrar of Companies is ordered to de-register the company. “The Assemblies of God also applied for an order against some of the pastors of the company to return possessions of the churches and mission houses of the Assemblies of God which they were occupying at the time,” Ricther added. He urged the public to be aware that only ordained pastors of the Assemblies of God may act in its name, collect funds on its behalf and make use of its property.

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