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Rwanda closes ‘700 unsafe, noisy churches’

The vast majority of Rwandans are Christians but many also follow traditional practices

About 700 churches have been closed down in Rwanda for failing to comply with building regulations and for noise pollution.

Most of them are small Pentecostal churches. One mosque was also closed.

A government official told the BBC that some of the more than 700 buildings shut down have already reopened after they were approved by inspectors.

According to a proposed new law, all preachers must have theological training before opening a church.

Pentecostal churches, often run by charismatic preachers claiming to be able to perform miracles, have grown rapidly in many parts of Africa in recent years.

Some are massive, attracting thousands of worshippers each Sunday, but others consist of tiny structures built without planning permission.

Church leaders have at times been criticised for using loud public address systems to attract worshippers.

Kangwagye told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that they simply required the churches to meet “modest standards”.

Some church premises exposed worshippers to unnecessary risks and could “cause danger to those worshipping,” Mr Kangwagye told the Rwandan New Times newspaper.

The reported crackdown is being carried out by the local authorities with the support of the Rwanda Governance Board, according to the New Times.

Some 700 churches were thought to be operating illegally, the Rwanda Governance Board said in a recent statement.

The vast majority of Rwandans are Christians but many also follow traditional practices.

Source: BBC

About Efo Korsi Senyo | Executive Editor

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 5 years experience working as an investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Executive Editor of Awake Newspaper and Head of Awake Investigates. Efo does not only investigate and publish based on the journalism profession ethics but he also brings legal and civil actions against personalities and institutions he investigated. He said fighting against injustice and corruption in society as the only way for him to avenge injustice and corrupt acts he and other vulnerable people faced and continue to face in society. Efo is also a private investigator, IT expert and entrepreneur. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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