Christianity CRACKDOWN: Fury as 8,000 churches CLOSED DOWN due to RED TAPE | World | News

Rwandan Christians have expressed outrage after the crackdown, as officials applied a strict set of rules declaring churches "unfit" for the practice.

Thousands of churches in the East African country have been closed in recent weeks. comply with the new strict requirements of the country, which were announced at the beginning of the year.

The authorities even closed a village church while a wedding was being held, with the couple and the guests ordered to evacuate the building.

Included among the new regulations are rules on the location of the toilets, with any violation that results in the authorities closing the building.

A local worshiper told the World Watch Monitor anti-persecution: "By checking which churches were included, we learned that all churches are suffering the same fate, and that even churches considered luxurious by local standards have had to close.

"It seems that the local authorities In the different districts, at the beginning, they had some freedom about the degree to which they could enforce the new requirements.

"However, now it seems that those who were more forgiving have been reprimanded and have become stricter."

"In one the district authorities banned all meetings of a closed church and are not even allowed to congregate in home groups. "

Some villagers now have to walk 20 km to attend a church in another neighborhood, after authorities shut down their local church 19659006] According to World Watch Monitor," congregations have been told that they also need to install a certain type of canvas roof, although that material carries a considerable risk of fire. "

Other requirements say that" the access roads to the church as well as the buildings of the church must be paved " and "the interior walls and ceilings of the church must be plastered and painted."

If these rules are violated, the authorities have the right to close the church immediately and without prior notice.

Justus Kangwagye, a Rwandan government official, said that churches must meet "basic requirements in terms of safety, hygiene, infrastructure and legality."

In February, Professor Anastase Shyaka, Executive Director of the Board of Governors of Rwanda (RGB), said at a press conference: "Some churches carry out their worship services in structures of poor quality and contamination, to the detriment of the health and safety of people.

contamination has also been reported, while some operate without the required operating permits. "

Article 37 of the Rwandan Constitution of 2003 gives local people the right to religious freedom; however, there have been growing reports of secularism within the government.

According to the new laws proposed by the country, ministers can no longer hold prayer meetings in government institutions and the main roads remain closed on two Sundays per month, which makes many m

In March, six pastors were arrested for conspiring to defy government orders.

The suspects allegedly held "illegal gatherings with bad intentions", after more than 700 churches and a mosque in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, closed.

Pastors have been released since then.

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