Local authorities have, over the past week, shut down over 700 churches and one mosque in the city for non-compliance with several regulations.
The issue here is not authorities enforcing the law but the number of religious organizations involved, and that is just Kigali which has thousands of churches. Either the citizens are a very pious God-fearing lot or something else is afoot.
Religion has proven to be a very profitable business that has even attracted unsavoury characters that prey on the gullibility of some to fleece them. The false prophets have found it easy to threaten to unleash the wrath of God to arrive to their ends.
Just recently, a local Christian radio station was suspended for airing a sermon filled with hate and using the bible as a point of reference. One of the old political philosophers once said that: “Religion is the opium of the people”, once they get hooked they can be manipulated easily.
In fact, the Government has cracked down on unqualified pastors and other quake preachers that have suddenly cropped up. Rwanda Governance Board, the regulatory body, has said that only professionally trained theologians and religious leaders will be allowed to exercise their duties.
This is in a bid to weed out false prophets and religious predators that have discovered milking cows among a population that has gone through trying times and are in need of solace. Many turn to religion for support and fall in the hands of vulture preachers.
Freedom of worship is enshrined in our constitution and people do so freely, but that should not serve as a licence to abuse that freedom in the name of God or financial gain.