Rwanda Closes Hundreds of Churches and Arrests Pastors

Image via Scott Chacon/Creative Commons

A move by Rwanda to shut down more than 700 churches in its capital city, allegedly for building safety, hygiene, and noise violations, is prompting accusations that the government of President Paul Kagame is trampling on religious freedom.

On March 6, police detained six pastors, accusing them of conspiring to rally other clergy in defiance of the government’s shutdown orders.

Anastase Shyaka, the chief executive of the Rwanda Governance Board, which ordered the closures, said the action was about “honoring God.”

Fredrick Nzwili is a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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