Rwanda is part of East Africa’s “authoritarian drift”, according to Freedom House. The press and political activism are tightly restricted, and civil society is weak, according to Human Rights Watch. By 2014 and the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide, hardly a critical word was to be heard in the country. The country is deeply Christian – 44 per cent Catholic and 38 per cent Protestant – but the government keeps a rigorous registration regime. Public events and even night-time meetings are regulated; police in 2014 arrested several Pentecostal church leaders for forming an unauthorised branch of the Church. (Photo: Scott Chacon via Flickr; CC 2.0)

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Thousands of churches closed in Rwanda, as Cameroon considers following suit

Pentecostal churches, like this one in Ethopia's capital Addis Baba, are mushrooming in sub-Sahara Africa. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Rwanda has closed thousands churches in the country since February for alleged “noise pollution” and failing to comply with building regulations. Now Cameroon – another majority-Christian country – is considering following suit. The call to shut down some of Cameroon’s Pentecostal churches follows reports of gross misconduct by a number […]

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Rwanda: 700 churches closed down – in just one province

Sainte-Famille Church in Kigali. (Photo: Flickr/Orlando1978)

Rwanda has ordered 700 churches in Kigali Province to suspend activities from today (1 March) because of concerns over health and safety. Under a newly proposed law the churches are expected to meet “basic requirements in terms of safety, hygiene, infrastructure and legality”, Justus Kangwagye, a government official, said. The […]

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