Cameroon Government Shuts Down Over 50 Pentecostal Churches, Plans to Shutter 100 Total


Cameroon flagCAMEROON – The government of Cameroon is severely cracking down this month on Pentecostal churches, vowing to shut down nearly 100 congregations.

Paul Biya, the president of the western African nation, says the closures are an attempt to prevent Pentecostal pastors from conducting “criminal practices” that allegedly threaten Cameroon’s national security. Thus far, at least 50 churches have been shuttered by government officials, but more forced closures are on the way.

Cameroonian officials claim these Pentecostal churches are a menace to their country’s well-being because of fake healing attempts and other controversial spiritual activities. For instance, the government is citing the death of a 9-year-old girl during a prayer session last Sunday, when a Pentecostal pastor was attempting to cast out demons from her body.

Mbu Anthony Lang, an official with the Cameroonian government, told CNN that only 50 of the 500 Pentecostal churches in his country are technically legal.

“We will get rid of all the so-called Christian Pentecostal pastors who misuse the name of Jesus Christ to fake miracles and kill citizens in their churches,” he vowed. “They have outstretched their liberty.”

According to Operation World, 54% of Cameroon’s 20 million residents describe themselves as Christians. 800,000 Cameroonian Christians are Pentecostals, but that number is growing at an annual rate of approximately 7%.

Though the country is technically a secular nation, Cameroon’s constitution provides for religious freedom, and says “freedom of religion and worship shall be guaranteed.”

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“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” the constitution states. “This right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Boniface Tum, a bishop at a Cameroonian Church of God, told CNN that the government’s crackdown on Christian churches violates basic human rights.

“Authorizing only the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Muslim, and a few other churches, is a strict violation of the right to religion,” Tum said.

After his church was shut down last week, Pastor Elie Pierre encouraged churchgoers over a loudspeaker.

“We have the right to defend ourselves!” he exclaimed.

Following the reports of church shut-downs, some were pleased. One commenter called the development “good news,” and said “I hope the rest of African countries do the same. Well done Cameroon.” Another posited, “All countries should get rid of all churches and ban those vile books called [the] Bible, Koran, etc. Religion has no place in a civilized world.”

However, Theres Nchanji, leader of another Cameroonian church that the government recently shut down, explained that all countries need Christian churches.

“No state can do without a Church and the Bible says whosoever calls the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved,” she said, according to Voice of America. “The Bible says that our weapons are not carnal—they are spiritual. When the devil attacked Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus said it is written, he never picked a stone to face the devil.” 

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  • Gwen Tomlinson

    Something needs to be done to stop the death of the innocent who don’t know Christ personally through the Bible. Many DONT read the Bible and go with what they are told by these wolves in sheep clothing. Pentecostalism is not the Christ in the Bible, it is a false ‘ religion’….like many others.

  • http://christiannews.net Servant of Jesus

    They think Christians are a threat? In actuality if Christians are threatened there is a special place in hell where thermostats are ripped off the wall for people like this also people who threaten Christians “DO NOT KNOW HOW LETHAL THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD IS” BECAUSE IT IS PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS AND PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED. Beware Christian offenders whoever you are from the very “Big to the very little”, God has his just reward for everyone. Beware..

  • LOVELINE AMBANG

    I LOVE THAT ACT BECAUSE MANY FAKE CHURCHES ARE NOW IN CAMEROON , EVEN IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
    I AM A CHRISTIAN TOO ALSO FROM A BORN AGAIN CHURCH, BUT WHAT I KNOW IS THAT THE CHURCH WHICH CHRIST HAS ESTABLISHED HERE ON EARTH CAN NEVER BE BAN BY MAN. FOR JESUS SAID “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL”
    SO WE NEED NOT TO PANNICK IF WE KNOW OUR CHURCH BELONG TO CHRIST.

    • akaya roland

      WOW. I LOVE YA WISDOM,THATS DI BENCHMARK, AM BORN AGAIN TOOO, I GOT NO PANIK TOOO, COS IF MY CHURCH IS OF CHRIST IT CANNOT BE STOPPED ON EARTH. WONDERFUL , THANK U JESUS.

  • olumide akinade

    The bible said we shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free with all the excuses given by the cameroon government,we can’t say because there are fake pastors and fake churches,we should now start banning pentecostal churches,the bible said by their fruit you shall know them,not all people that call me lord lord shall enter the kingdom of God,I’m coming soon and my reward is with me to give to everyone according to what he has done.
    Nevertheless,there are also corrupt politicians,traditional rulers and mams.
    Please leave the church alone for God to judge.

    Olumide +2348030600100

  • David

    No one tourches the apple of God”s eye and go free. paul Biya shall surely pay for it

  • Eliza Doh

    Looks like you had been planning this crackdown all along and this was only the last straw that broke the camel’s back. You give one or two excuses and that is a reason to crackdown on so many churches? Why are you so fast to do that and how much investigation have you done in all the other churches to put the crime of one on all?
    The atmosphere of the big cities in Cameroon is stinking with drunks,prostitutes(male and female)arm robbery,corruption from top to bottom, witchcraft and occultism from top to bottom and laissez faire
    attitude. What have you done with these? Have you closed the bars brothels, video clubs (pornography and homosexual corners)that are spoiling our children? You that are reporting to CNN about these churches,how holy are you.The Bible says, John 10:10 The devil comes not but to steal,kill and destroy but Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.Receive Jesus today and let Him cleanse you with His blood and make you a candidate for Heaven. “Acts 5:38-39 And now i say unto you,Refrain from these men,and let them alone for if this work be of men, it will come to nothing. But if it be of God ye cannot overthrow it,lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” I advice you to treat the problem of this church as an individual as you do other people and institutions. Don’t fight against the voice of God in that nation.
    END, MD,USA.

  • lukten

    @eliza Doh
    Thank you for speaking the truth, it is Holy Spirit against evil spirit.
    An highly corrupted govermnent and ruler involver in occultism and witchcraft, the wife of the ruler possessed.
    Our gracious Lord would intervene in the behalf of His Churches that the gospel may have free course and be glorified.
    God bless you all.

  • Jeff Hodges

    All over the world the Spirit of God is moving and also all over the world the spirit of the antichrist is moving. Jesus has already told us what happens to the antichrist and what happens to the people who believe in him. God is not moved by stupidity but by faith. It is impossible to please God without faith and that He rewards all who are filled with the Holy Spirit. It is very sad that people choose evil over good, but when they realize their error it may be to late.

  • paul

    yes my fellow brother we should know that God is the God of every body. the God of pentecostal and non pentocostal. you should take what has happen in a certain church by saying that you about to shut down pentecostal church . if you shut down all the pentecostal mouvement you are try to say that non pentecostal churches can be accommodate in the country while there is a free will of religion in cameroon. ok those churches who are not pentecostal are there not negativity there , for example the catholic churches that who heard all over the how some priest are abusing under 18 by sexual act , in some aglican churches they valid gay marriage who is not biblical . do i sound like a pentecostal , no let God almighty juge and as a president you should maintain peace and advice in the way they should without condamnation even though you as a president are not pentecostal. the church is not divide the church is one saying that they most be shut down is saying the orthodoxe , evangelic, catholic , anglican and other must be bound, and your doing it in to christ who is creator even if you beleive it or not. we should also pray as christian for maturity in the kingdom of God so that we can be an exemple to bring the world in to the fullness of God.in the orther aspect saying that some die in a certain church and you want to shut down every other pentecostal churches is not an excuse even though they are legaly recognise , you should just make sure that every church must do the right thing because the solution of the world is not the hand of the Government but the church in general . you might not believe it but is a divine truth. so if is the issue of taxe let them do the right without try give a wrong impression about pentecostal churches like if catholic church and other are so good.
    only God knows who is who and the reality , he is our juge so lets work as a team .

  • Izekor sunday

    The government may be taking appropriate steps in preventing future pains or sufferings (2 peter 2:13) which everybody must obey (romans 13:1) but the government must ensure that they do not make decisions for GOD. They should walk hand in hand with the cameroonian christain authority before final decisions are taken.

  • http://WWW.CNN.COM BEJOE KEYS

    MR CAMEROON PRES DONT PONISH PETER FOR THE CRIME PAUL BCOS, GOD WILL HEAR HIS CRY AND DEAL WITH U. U NEED INTELLIGENT ADVISERS SO U DONT OFFEND THE WRONG PEOPLE.

  • joseph

    Mr president,
    i appreciate ur concern 4 d citizens of ur nation, its actually great. Pls understand this: every decision taking by u today has its effect on d future.
    I believe u need a rethink on this decision, bcos what u are celebrating today already has a long run effect if u will seat & think, it may not prove its fruit in d present.
    I really do not know much about u & d denomination u belong but, if one bad egg would spoil d other,its important u separate other from it.
    Many destiny (citizens life) has experienced advancement (change) as a result of d Pentecostal movement u are having a crackdown on, Pentecostal movement is growing bcos members have visible proves, this not withstanding there may be possible negativity in some Pentecostal church, i believe dat is d reason of investigation. Mind u, all denominations are understanding determined. DO A RE-THINK.

  • Annie Jackson

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am bringing to the attention of religious leaders and others a matter of major concern. Please read this message and consider the Scriptures seriously. Thank you.
    Christ said false prophets are identified is by the fruits they produce; their works. Read Matthew 7:15-17. One bad fruit produced by religions is their participation in wars. The Bible clearly condemns wars. Read Isaiah 2: 2-4. Worst yet, when a member of a religion fights for his country against another country, what right can he have to kill his brother who fights for the opposing side? Further, what happens if that church member flies a war jet and drops a bomb that probably wipes out a large section of or an entire village? Are such acts a demonstration of love? Would he truly be a child of God? First John chapter 3, verse 10 provides the answer. Read 1 John 3:10. Also, 1 John 3:15. No true servant of God would kill his brother(s). True Christians fight ONLY a SPIRITUAL war, according to 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4.(Read) They do NOT fight physical wars. Note a few comments that show that the early Christians lived by what the Bible says.

    The Early Church and the World, Professor C. J. Cadoux writes: “Up to the reign of Marcus Aurelius at least [161-180 C.E.], no Christian would become a soldier after his baptism.”
    The Encyclopedia of Religion states: “The early church fathers, including Tertullian and Origen, affirmed that Christians were constrained from taking human life, a principle that prevented them from participating in the Roman army.”

    “A careful review of all the information available goes to show that, until the time of Marcus Aurelius [Roman emperor from 161 to 180 C.E.], no Christian became a soldier; and no soldier, after becoming a Christian, remained in military service.”—The Rise of Christianity (London, 1947), E. W. Barnes, p. 333.

    The book The Early Christian Attitude to War says: “Inasmuch as they [Jesus’ teachings] ruled out as illicit all use of violence and injury against others, clearly implied [was] the illegitimacy of participation in war . . . The early Christians took Jesus at his word, and understood his inculcations of gentleness and non-resistance in their literal sense. They closely identified their religion with peace; they strongly condemned war for the bloodshed which it involved.”

    “The behavior of the [early] Christians was very different from that of the Romans. . . . Since Christ had preached peace, they refused to become soldiers.”—Our World Through the Ages.

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, states: “[Early Christians] refused to take any active part in …the military defence of the empire. . . . It was impossible that the Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of soldiers.”

    The above quotes clearly prove that the early TRUE Christians, such as the faithful apostles and disciples of the first century, did not take part in wars. Hence, we may rightly ask: Are religions today that allow their members to join the armed forces really following Christ? 1 John 3:10-15; John 13:34, 35.
    Best regards,
    Annie

  • take

    Mr paul biya weldon! this so call pastors who go about deceiving people, they are a nuisance to our country. They open so called churhes for their selfish aims, which is to enrich themselves.