The Cameroonian Government has ordered the closure of all born-again churches flouting the anti-COVID-19 regulations put in place by the government.
Paul Atanga Nji, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration, announced the sanction in a statement issued in Yaounde, Thursday March 25.
Nji stated that many of the pastors of these “so-called churches which have no legal existence in Cameroon continue to send messages which go against the very high instructions of the head of state” concerning the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
“In effect, they encourage their followers not to respect the barrier measures put in place against the COVID-19 by telling them not to wear masks.”
“Other pastors reject the treatment protocols validated by the government. Others by a sort of charlatanism pretend that the coronavirus does not exist and that even if this illness existed, it was enough to pray in order to conquer it.”
The minister further noted that “there are others who administer water treatment on patients tested for COVID-19, saying that it was blessed and holy water” that would cure them.
He recalled that last year, several children who attended these fake and illegal churches refused to take their final year exams insisting that their pastors had banned them from wearing masks, which were obligatory before pupils/students were admitted into examination rooms.
Nji has instructed the governors of all the 10 regions of the country to proceed with the “systematic closure of the churches whose pastors vehicle messages contrary to the barrier measures decided upon by the government with a view to block the way to the propagation of the COVID-19.”
Erring pastors, the minister insisted, must be arrested and made to answer for their actions before the competent national jurisdictions.