Since 1999, the National African Religion Congress has protected the rights of priests and practitioners of African-based religion in the United States and abroad, and has represented its membership as an independent certifying body for clergy of those religions. NARC has established equality and protection of First Amendment rights, defended the integrity of the religions in federal courts, and moved the civil courts to apply the Deference Rule to African-based religions. This groundbreaking decision confirms that practitioners of African-based religions may make their own organizational decisions on conflicts involving spiritual issues in United States civil courts.
The National African Religion Congress publishes the Directory of Priests and Priestesses, an unprecedented publication which includes the first and only compilation of the Doctrines of each African-based religion, the first and only listing of certified priests, priestesses, healers, and other practitioners of African-based religion, and a unique reference that includes essays, speeches, and other publications about the religions from the practitioners themselves. The Congress promotes its members as the experts in their religions and promotes standards for morals and ethics for African-based religious clergy in general. When people call NARC seeking spiritual help, we use the Directory to refer them to certified priests and priestesses in their area who can provide them with the expert assistance they need.
The National African Religion Congress holds Conferences that are open forums where practitioners of all African-based religions and the public at large come together to share the religions, everyday experiences that affect their practice, and ways to ensure the survival and better understanding of these religions. Each Conference features the “Bridging the Gap” Seminar. Here priests, law enforcement officials, community leaders, public officials, and the general public are invited to promote communication and increase understanding between practitioners of African-based religion and the communities where they reside. Through this seminar the interests of everyone involved are acknowledged, and the rights of our members are protected.
The Congress maintains ongoing communication with law enforcement agencies, licensing and inspection entities, and political figures across the country to encourage fair treatment of its members, prevent interruption of religious services, and ensure that certified priests are respected as the clergy they are. We do this by dealing directly to the law enforcement officials responsible for community liaison in the communities where our members reside, to make sure that they have a good understanding of the religious diversity in their communities and the needs of our members. We maintain high standards to preserve African-based religions wherever they are practiced. We are a licensed entity that is able to sponsor legal travel to Cuba for religious reasons. Through the certification process we promote the integrity of African-based religions in Nigeria, Brazil, Trinidad, and every other country where our members are located.