Here is why Rwanda closed 714 churches and a mosque

As many as 714 churches and a mosque have been closed by authorities in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, the local news portal, New Times reported on Wednesday.

The closure of the places of worship was hinged on inadequate infrastructure, hygience and issues to do with safety standards.

A government official was quoted by the New Times as saying that the worship facilities had been asked to suspend operations till they could meet needed requirements.

“Worshiping should be done in an organised way and meet minimum standards. Exercising your freedom of worship should not encroach on other people’s rights. They have been asked to halt operations until they meet the requirements,” Justus Kangwagye is quoted to have said.

The crackdown is being carried out by respective urban district authorities in partnership with the Rwanda Governance Board.

The report says some churches were operating in tents and did not have adequate parking for the worshippers, who ended up parking on the side of the road and causing traffic jams.

The authorities also issued a warning to churches that make noise and disturb peace in residential neighbourhoods.
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