Friday, March 09, 2018

Rwandan Government Closes Over 700 Churches

RNS reports that on Tuesday, the government of Rwanda shut down 714 of the more than 1300 churches in the country's capital city of Kigali.  The Rwanda Governance Board says that the closings were the result of building safety, hygiene and noise violations.  Most of the churches affected were small Pentecostal congregations that have multiplied in recent years.  Hygiene problems are common because Kigali does not have a sewage system or treatment plant.  Critics however say that the closures are an attempt by President Paul Kagame to suppress criticism. A Rwandan activist based in Canada said: "The churches constituted the last open space. Kagame knows this. The localized community of churches offered a slight space for daring to imagine and talk about change."