Frequently asked questions
Do I have to be registered in the Directory of Priests and Priestesses?
Ordained and completed priests/esses will be included in the directory when confirmed by the priests or priestesses who did their ordination. Inclusion in the directory will be granted upon request and receipt of qualifications. An application for certification must be completed and on file with NARC before a priest or priestess may become certified. All questions on the application must be answered.
Do I have to have a certification I.D. card to belong to the National African Religion Congress?
All priests and priestesses who are certified with NARC must have a certification I.D. card. This identification card is for the use of the person who carries it. It is a way to prove to people of other faiths that you are a legitimate priest or priestess. This card can be used for the following:
To have equal rights as any other religion of this society, e.g., to gain access into hospitals to pray for the sick.
To gain legal clergy parking permits.
Access to the resources of NARC for legal and other support services in the event that difficulties of any kind are encountered.The legal right of privileged communication with clergy. In this society only Doctors, Lawyers and Clergy enjoy this privilege. There must be some organization to certify that members in good standing of one of these groups qualify for the privilege to apply.As a form of legal identification, for example: If you wish to establish a bank account in your spiritual name, you will need a legal identification in that name.
Do I have to give my Social Security number?
Yes. The Social Security number is the one form of identification that is universally recognized in this country and it doesn't change during a person's lifetime. This number is important for certification because practitioners of African-based religions often go by more than one name during priesthood. For the protection of the people who seek help from priests and priestesses in African-based religions, we must be able to positively identify the priests and priestesses. The Social Security number is held in the strictest of confidence and will be for NARC'S use only.
What is the identification number?
The identification number is the date that the person entered into priesthood, training in priesthood, etc. The identification number will also indicate whether a priest or priestess has completed his/her training. It is a way to show that the person has trained in a legitimate way. It also makes it possible for the priest or priestess to be placed into the Directory of Priests and Priestesses.
Do I have to be a confirmed or graduated priests or priestesses to be certified?
No, you do not have to be confirmed or graduated to be certified with NARC. The I.D. card will have your title and position stating (priest/ess in training). This will show that you are under a legitimate priest/priestess and will show the quality and quantity of years of training.
How can NARC help me to get the necessary time off from work for initiations?
The National African Religion Congress/NARC World strongly believes that African-based religious practitioners should tell the truth to his/her place of employment. There is great respect for all of the religions of this society because the practitioners of those religions are seen living their religion. The National African Religion Congress/NARC World has sent letters to places of employments such as banks, schools, courts, etc., and have received successful results.
I am a priest/ess in training and I have to wear white everyday. How can NARC help me explain to my place of employment that I must wear white and keep my head covered?
The National African Religion Congress will be the independent body to establish with employers that priests and priestesses in training be accorded the same privileges of those of other religions. Individuals of the Jewish faith can appear in the work place in full Jewish attire: black suits complete with yarmulke. Muslims wear their attire to the work place without being questioned. Therefore, priests and priestesses of African religions must be accorded the same privileges. For members, NARC will contact the employers and explain why the individuals must wear white and the expected length of training.
I am a priest/ess in African-based religion. Do I have to have a Reverend's License or Notary License so that I can perform legal marriages, funerals and blessings of babies with my title Nana, Babalawo, Iyalosa, Babalosa, Mambo or Hungan?
Yes. All of the laws of this country extends religious freedom. However, the language used in many of the laws in many of the states makes reference to those who are authorized by their religious beliefs as: any ordained minister of the gospel and every other minister in charge of a recognized church may perform marriages; priest in regular communion or good standing with the religious society of which he is a member. Some of the states requires that the priests or priestess have regular services. The National African Religion Congress/NARC World is in contact with the Attorney General and Secretary of State for all 50 states to bring clarity to the County Clerks Office where questions arise about marriages.
What is the purpose of the National African Religion Congress/ NARC World Directory?
The purpose of the Directory is to assist anyone seeking an African religion priest or priestess in their area of a particular faith. The Directory also assures that the members listed are verified as a part of a certified organization. Each member in the directory is listed in their religious category containing spiritual credentials, telephone numbers, addresses, e-mails and biographies. The Directory also supplies basic information about African-based religions and can be used as a teaching tool in universities, schools and colleges.
How can I be listed in the directory?
The Directory is limited to Babalawos, Priests, Priestesses, Spiritual Workers, Spiritual Drummers, Master Singers, Cultural Artists, Queen Mothers and Royalty. All listings in each category must be certified. A person must file an application providing proof of initiation and date of initiation. Once this application has been confirmed, that individual is certified and then can go into the Directory.
Do I have to carry my NARC identification card?
If you are an officiating priest in some states you are required to register with the government or obtain a license, you need to carry your card. Some states require you to file for licenses by presenting your ordination papers with the county in which a marriage ceremony is performed. You will need to present your NARC card along with proof of your initiation. The National African Religion Congress/ NARC World can provide the necessary documentation of initiation. The NARC card is also a form of identification.