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6000 churches closed in Rwanda, all pastors required to hold theology degree

President Paul Kagame at the 51st Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Lusaka-Zambia (COURTESY PHOTO)

The President of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame issued a statement saying he has officially closed down 6000 churches in Rwanda saying they were playing with the faith of Rwandan citizens and also put up a new requirement of procuring a theology degree before given license to open up  a church in Rwanda.

While at the National Leadership retreat in Gabiro, Rwanda, in March Kagame expressed his concerns on the rising number of churches in Rwanda and asked if they were boreholes or wells that gave people water and also said they didn’t even tally with the number of factories in the country.

Paul Kagame who is known for his strict hand also cited security concerns when closing up these religious institutions.

The Rwanda Governance Board said the move was also meant to tighten rules on registration and functioning of churches in Rwanda and also reduce on the creeping cases of fraud as many religious leaders were reaping off impoverished followers.

Anastase Shyaka, head of Rwanda Governance Board also said installation of a lighting rod would be one of the requirements for new churches after a lighting strike killed 16 worshipers and injured 140 at a Seventh Day Adventist Church in March.

Some Rwandese supported the move saying some religious leaders are motivated by greed and start churches to defraud followers.

Government of Rwanda said it respects freedom of worship but protecting people’s lives was first priority.

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