The president of Rwanda and Chairman of the African Union has re-commented on the issue that the government of Rwanda three months ago decided to close a thousand revival churches and a hundred of mosques across the country.
Kagame explained that the closure was linked to the continuous complaints by residents about sound pollution coming from the churches day and night as well as the issue of security, standards, and issues of extortionist pastors among others.
The president was responding to one of the questions asked by Jeune Afrique’s François Sudan during an exclusive interview.
Q: Three months ago, your government closed a thousand revival churches and a hundred mosques across Rwanda. Have you declared war on religion?
Kagame responded: Certainly not. The problem is the following: First, the number. Even though in Kigali only, 700 places of worship were closed, there are dozens of others still open. It’s obviously too many.
“Freedom of worship should not lead to such excess. Moreover, there were continuous complaints by residents about sound pollution coming from those churches day and night as well as the issue of security for the residents caused by churches that don’t meet the standards. Finally, numerous cases of extortion of funds, racketeering, family crisis caused by activities of extortionist pastors,” the Head of State continued.
It was necessary to put an order in that proliferation of churches and uphold rules regulating their establishment and functioning. That’s what we did, he said.
Following the government’s decision, some churches started reviewing their premises and they have resumed operations while others are underway doing the same.