Why we’re closing down Pentecostal churches —Cameroon’s police chief

Posted by News Express | 16 August 2013 | 6,712 times

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The Cameroonian police officer spearheading the enforcement of the government’s order to close down Pentecostal churches has defended the action, citing alleged misdeeds by the churches.

“The Sub-divisional Officer for Yaounde One, Jean Paul Tsanga Foé, says these illegal churches are becoming a major source of insecurity in his jurisdiction and threaten the peace that reigns in certain families. As such, an operation has started to close down such illegal churches with deviant practices,” says a report from Cameroon.

Jean Paul Tsanga Foé, according to the report, over the weekend closed down one of such churches called Communauté Chrétienne du Révérend Paul Nko. Two weekends back, he had closed two of such churches, La Cathédrale de la Foi of Rev Dr Dieunedort Kamdem and L’église Catholique Traditionnelle. Camroonian branches of Nigerian-owned Pentecostal churches such as Redeemed Chritian Church of God (RCCG) and Winners Chapel have not been spared in the onslaught.

Jean Paul Tsanga Foé was quoted as saying that the majority of the churches are operating without authorisation. He “said although these churches have been benefitting from the State’s administrative tolerance, they continue to do what they like without any intention of conforming to what the law says about the creation of churches in Cameroon,” said one report, adding:

“Some of the churches are described as a nuisance to their neighbourhoods as their loud speakers and musical instruments are unbearable to the ears of their neighbours who say they can hardly sleep given that most of the churches operate at night. Information also revealed that some of the churches have created division in families not only because some parents can hardly accept the fact that their children have changed their religious denomination, but also because of some of the messages that are usually echoed from the churches. One of such messages is when, ‘The man of God, in a revelation says that a family member is a witch or responsible for a problem that a brethren attending the church is facing in his life.’ Such revelations have never been taken lightly in certain families, with some resulting to bloodshed and even death in certain families.”

Jean Paul Tsanga Foé was further quoted as stressing government’s determination to “clean this sector which is a serious problem in the society,” declaring that “Cameroon is not a State for fraudsters, but a State of Order.”

The police chief rejected allegations that they are cracking down on Christian denominations that have been critical of President Paul Biya.

•Photo shows President Biya.

Source: News Express

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