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Pastors in Rwanda arrested for defying Kagame’s orders for church closure

Six pastors in Rwanda have so far been arrested by the police for defying a government order for the closure of their churches over noise pollution.

Police arrested the six pastors they accuse of being the “masterminds” behind a ploy to defy the order.

According to local and international reports, the suspects allegedly held “illegal meetings with bad intentions” following the closure of more than 700 churches and a mosque in the capital Kigali.

Rwanda National Police spokesperson Theos Badege told journalists on Monday that the six “ring leaders” were scheming to mobilise other clergy to oppose the churches closure by Kigali City authorities and the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).


Rwanda shuts down 700 Churches for noise pollution

He told news agency AFP on Tuesday the six Pentecostal preachers “conducted illegal meetings with bad intentions aimed at calling for the directives to be defied.”

“After the suspension of churches that did not meet required standards, some church leaders began illegal meetings intended to defy and obstruct the directive. Police began investigations to find the masterminds behind this illegal act,” he said.

Mr Badege said the six pastors will be arraigned in court but did not indicated when.


Last week, President Paul Kagame commented on the ongoing operation saying that he was surprised by the large number of churches. He pointed out that had there been proper planning, the situation would not have got to a level where the government has to close churches.

“Seven hundred churches in Kigali? Are these boreholes that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? But 700 churches, which you even had to close? This has been a mess!” he said.