KABOOGA, Rwanda — Thousands of evangelical churches in Rwanda are being temporarily shut down because of new government requirements.
CBN News‘ Miranda Leah is currently on a world race – an 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries.
A sanction was posted on thousands of religious buildings throughout the nation of Rwanda, requiring the buildings be closed to the public until updates can be made. It’s a set back that many evangelical churches didn’t foresee.
“Many people are just, you know, discouraged,” Pastor Moses Bukenya of the Gospel Center Church told CBN News.
Rwanda’s government Is closing thousands of churches and dozens of mosques because the buildings do not comply with the country’s safety standards.
“Some people have joined other churches that have been reopened, while they work on their churches,” Pastor Bukenya said.
Some of these safety requirements include having at least 1.5 acres of land, a parking lot, a sound-proofed building and at least four bathroom stalls.
Older churches have been able to make the upgrades quickly. Others, however, have been closed for months.
Pastor David Barige of the Beautiful Temple Ministries said, “These days we are not able to have it like that and we are awaiting the hand of God. Church communities understand the necessity of the upgrades. However, some worry they’ll never be able to afford them.”
“We definitely need prayers that the Lord may empower us to do what we are required to do by the government for our good and for the people we lead,” said Bukenya.
The Rwandan government says that they’re not trying to target a particular religion. However, just asking that those safety standards be met have closed more than 6,000 churches.