Govt warns fraudulent churches and false prophets

Monday October 1 2018

Followers

The govt has warned churches and religious leaders who mislead their congregants into giving their money and property to pastors. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By EDMUND KAGIRE
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The government has moved to crack the whip on churches and religious leaders who mislead people into giving their money and property to pastors in the hope of getting “double blessings.”

The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), the government body charged with overseeing faith-based organisation, issued the warning last week on Tuesday following accusations of self-proclaimed prophets and pastors misleading people into surrendering their property and money in the hope of getting more.

RGB said it has discovered that some religious leaders have been leading people into believing that if they give more, they will get more, while others have led believers into lengthy fasting sessions, leading to death in some cases.

“People are asked to surrender their money and property with the promise that whoever gives more will get a better place in heaven. Others stop believers from seeking medical care and charge them money with the promise that they will pray for them to heal.

“Others are asked to surrender the little they have with the promise that God will pay off their debts or that they will be resettled abroad. Others are promised promotions at work,” said the RGB statement.

The government also warned churches and pastors against practices that violate people’s human rights and endanger their lives.

RGB cautioned Christians against falling for such practices and people who masquerade as “prophets” and “miracle workers” who con them out of their money and property.

Since the beginning of the year, the government has closed at least 8,000 churches, which it said were unsafe, but those which fulfilled the requirements were allowed to reopen.