As the world go seeking for miracles to alter their situations and challenges, the government of Rwanda has swiftly moved to shut down over six thousand churches and mosques in the effort to combat the proliferation of fake prophets in the east African nation.
“There are no such things as miracles,” the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) told South Africa’s national broadcaster. “They are made up to try to get money from the hopelessness of our people.”
President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame had earlier sent out the warning that he will be shutting down over 6000 churches and mosques, claiming that churches were playing with the faith of the people and were just being turned into businesses.
While carrying out the ban in Kigali Kegame seemed surprise at the number of churches there.
“700 churches in Kigali? Are these boreholes (deep wells) that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? This has been a mess!” Kegame said.
The argument in Rwanda was that the religious outfits had become too many, often operating from makeshift houses that posed a danger to people. Critics say the move was aimed at silencing the religious community in Rwanda, basing on Kagame’s poor human rights record. Six Pentecostal pastors who protested the church closures were arrested and accused of “illegal meetings with bad intentions.”
There is now more formalization for religion in Rwanda, with proposed legislation requiring pastors to have a theology degree before they start their own churches so that they teach correct doctrine, said those familiar with the discussions.
The aim is to regulate the Pentecostal churches that often spring up under leaders who claim to have received a call to preach.
Many have expressed concern over the fact that not everyone with a calling can afford to get the now compulsory Theology degree.