Cameroon President Orders Closure Of Pentecostal Churches Over ‘Criminal Practices’

Paul Biya, President of Cameroon
Paul Biya, President of Cameroon

President of Cameroon Paul Biya has ordered the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities, including Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winnerss Chapel, citing criminal practices organized by Pentecostal pastors that threaten the security of the nation.

Biya is using the military to permanently shut down all Pentecostal church denominations in the nation’s capital, Yaounde, and the North West Regional capital, Bamenda, which have the largest Christian populations in Cameroon. More than 50 churches have now been closed, with the government targeting nearly 100 in eight other regions.

“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. They have outstretched their liberty,” Mbu Anthony Lang, a government official in Bamenda, told CNN Wednesday.

Nearly 500 Pentecostal churches operate in Cameroon, but fewer than 50 are legal, he added.

On Sunday, a 9-year-old Christian girl collapsed and died during a prayer session in Winners’ Chapel, a Pentecostal church in Bamenda. The girl’s mother, Mih Theresa, told CNN Wednesday that the pastor intended to cast out the numerous demons that were in control of her daughter’s life.

“I want the government to stop these pastors who use mysterious powers to pull Christians and kill then for more powers. All my children have ran away from the Catholic Church in search for miracles, signs and wonders,” she told CNN as she struggled to hold back tears.

Another Christian, Mveng Thomas, said his marriage ended abruptly when a Pentecostal pastor ordered his wife to dissolve their union. He said the pastor described him as “an unrepentant devil.”

In a swift reaction, Pentecostal pastors said the move is evidence of Biya’s insecurity about the churches’ criticism of the government.

In a march against the government’s decision on Wednesday in Bamenda and Douala, pastors said the Biya government sees the mass proliferation of churches as a threat.

According to Boniface Tum, a bishop of the Christian Church of God in Yaounde, Biya, who has been president since 1982, is becoming insecure about the freedom of speech within these churches.

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

Targeted Pentecostal Christians in Bamenda are transforming their private homes into churches.

North West Regional governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique said Wednesday that police had discovered the abduction of 30 children under age 18 by a pastor in Bamenda. The pastor said he wanted to remove the children from a bad society, Lele added.

Government officials also say that some pastors convince congregants that they do not need professional medical treatment for their ailments.

“How can a pastor say the sick needs no medical doctor? We need sanity in our Christian lives,” Nyang Blaise, a youth leader for Biya’s ruling party, CPDM, told CNN.

One woman said her mother was refusing cancer treatments because of her pastor.

“My mother’s condition is worsening after doctors confirmed she had cancer. She is dying silently, and yet we cannot persuade her to see a doctor for proper treatment, against her pastor’s wish,” Deborah Tanyi said.

16 COMMENTS

  1. This is a right step in the right direction. Churches springing up without control is appalling. We need this in Nigeria seriouly.

    • If you make such decision in Nigeria it will only affect small churches,, laws are met for poor people in Nigeria take note

  2. u wuld prefer if u hav nite clubs every wer? Nobody can stop d move of God….i dnt kia wot anybody tink abt d pastors, God’s word can neva be stopped.

  3. This is one of the best moves towards check-mating untold crises and confusion that the avalanche of the so call religious groups might cause.
    Upon their numerous numbers and names, the society hardly notices any corresponding positive changes as a result of the impacts created by their presence.
    Who are the corrupt leaders, who celebrated most of the corrupt leaders most (especially those one who made heavy donations), why are the schools owned by these group of churches that are built on poor men tithes and donations not accessible to their wards cos of exobitant fees, why are pastors competing buying private jets while the needy in their congregations have no help from these churches, why are they advertising their supernatural powers on television station by concentrating more on miracles in other to win more members knowing fully well that these miracles are performed by the powers of darkness, etc.
    People should sit down and properly examine the intent, usefulness, purpose and precept of any religious organisations before embracing such group.
    Well done Paul Biya.

    • Nice one Paul Biya.

      Your footstep should be followed by other African Leaders, the extortions by pastors is on the increase and it has to stop.

      Nice Job.

  4. I quite agree that most men oF God use churches to cover their evil deeds, but it does not give anybody right to clamp down on them. Allow God to be the fighter, all these happenings are already in the Bible. The gate of hell cannot prevail against the church. Signs of End-tiime, so is not new. Why fight. Churches, what of Gay marriages?

  5. We are in the last days where all manner of religious obsrevance is credited to have come from the true God. Most of the religion today are backed spiritually by the devil and his wicked demons who perpetrate attrocities unheard of right from the tiime of creation. Any religion that observe manmade doctrines and emphasise any form of reward from which ever form of god they profess to worship is off the devil.

  6. BIYA I BET YOU IF YOU DONT CHANGE YOUR DECISION YOUR TIME IS OVER ON SURFACE OF EARTH WITHIN THREE MONTHS THAT WAS HOW GADAFI CALL HIMSELF KING OF KINGS WHERE IS HIM TODAY.. HELL

  7. biya is mischivious, he s up 2something nd he knows dt d spirit of God in d church wld soon bring it 2d open, not 2worry it wont be long, he wil be disgraced soon.

  8. Biya is a member of freemason and illuminati because those evil fratanity forbiden mention the name of JESUS for any member do you have a power to fight HOLY SPIRIT? LET WATCH IN THREE MONTH

  9. Naturally, d devil will be cast out of our society. Even if Paul Biya dnt do this, The Almighty will collapse all of them. It is a matter of time, all of them will be dealt wit by d Holy Spirit globally, starting from Nigeria. The more churches we av, the more the society rots. It is worse in Nigeria. No Nigeria leader would do such bcos church owners are their evil backers. Killings, rape, adultry, oculticm and all sorts of evils are in the churches. for those bigots abusing Biya, God will open ur eyes to see the truth.

  10. ALL OF YOU PRETENDING AS CHRISTAINS ON THIS PAGE ARE JUST HYPOCRITE. FOR INSTANCE IN NIGERIA WHERE CHURCH IS EVERY AS WELL AS MOSQUE WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF IT TO NIGERIANS. ARE WE LIVING IN MORE PEACEFUL LIFE AS A RESULT OF THE NUMEROUS CHURCHES HELL NO. IS NIGERIA MORE SECURED NOW WITH MORE CHURCHES AROUND NO. SOME OF THESE GUYS CALLED PASTORS TODAY ARE JUST FRAUDSTERS . PAUL BIYA IS ON THE RIGHT PATH AND IT TAKES A LEADER WITH COURAGE TO DO SUCH. SOME OF YOU CRITICISING PAUL BIYA HERE ARE JUST HYPNOTISED HYPOCRITE WHO’s BRAIN HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. CHRISTAINITY IN NIGERIA ESPECIALLY IS A DISGRACE . YOU PEOPLE SHOULD STOP DESECRATE THE BODY OF CHRIST FOR BECAUSE OF GREED. I AM ALSO A CHRISTAIN AND THAT DID NOT STOP ME FROM STATING THE OBVIOUS.

  11. I think that cameroon president need serious medical treatment. He is seriously sick 4 christ sake. Wat on earth….. Any1 who knws him should pls tell him, he only has 2 weeks 2 reverse is order or statement or else the hand of God will struck his whole family & cabinet dead.

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