Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) has warned the public to be wary of religious leaders who fleece money from worshipers and mislead them.
The warning is contained in a public notice, which was released on Tuesday in which RGB raised concerns over misleading preaching from some self-styled prophets and pastors.
It said the pastors were lining their own pockets by fleecing their flock through false promises such as blessing them with promotions at work or securing visas to travel abroad.
RGB says that some worshipers are assured that God will shower them with blessings and pay for their bank loans, luring them into acts that violate their human rights such as fasting for a long period of time, hurting the body like burning themselves so that they suffer like Jesus.
RGB also alleges that pastors lure barren women into sexual activities with false promises that they will give birth.
RGB’s public notice comes in the wake of a series of controversial comments and actions from prominent city pastors.
Apostle Dr Paul Gitwaza is one of the preachers who has stirred controversy following his claims that there was no prophet greater than him in Africa.
Gitwaza, who is the Founder and International President of Authentic Ministries and senior pastor at the Kicukiro-based Zion Temple, told worshipers recently that: “I don’t know if in this country there’s a prophet greater than me. I am not boasting and may God forgive me if I come across as boastful, but I don’t know if you have a prophet like me in this country or Africa”.
“Maybe another will come, but as long as I am still alive, you will never find one. Go and look for them, then tell me if you find one. I am telling you the truth, you will understand this when I am no longer here”.
On Sunday, September 23, 2018, Bishop Rugagi of Redeemed Gospel Church urged worshipers to buy his handbook, which he claimed contains prophecies that would happen from September to December 31.
He said those who will buy the books are guaranteed material prosperity, successful marriages among other promises as evidence of God’s favours
RGB Chief Executive Officer, Prof Anastase, said that they will continue to alert the public about such teachings.
“We’re just asking the public to be vigilant about the growing malpractices in churches,” he said,
“Our country is firm in freedoms of worship. We can’t stop people from going to worship but we’ll continue to alert the public of any developments of treachery whenever they appear”.
He reaffirmed that the laws governing the country should be respected to keep harmony among people.
Early this year, RGB launched a crackdown on some churches that were operating illegally or in substandard buildings.
Some churches have since upgraded their structures and reopened while others resorted to holding their services from hotels.