Posted by News Express | 17 August 2013 | 4,723 times
Pentecostals in Cameroon have rejected the governmrnt’s ban, insisting that they have the right to woship God the way they choose since the country’s constitution guarantees freedom of association and of worship.
Reports from the central African country say some Pentecostals have taken to the streets while many embarked on fasting and prayers in their bid to get God to melt the heart of President Paul Biya, on whose command over 50 Pentecostal churches have been sealed.
Blogger Brenda Y. NCHEWNANG-NGASSA writing in lhmcameroon.wordpress reports that rather than disperse to their homes, Pentecostals in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, gathered to pray in front of their sealed house of worship.
“Addressing his Christians with a loud speaker, Reverend Pastor Elie Pierre said they will continue to pray for God to touch the hearts of the police that sealed their church door last Friday,” Brenda wrote. She quoted Pastor Pierre as saying: “We have the right to defend ourselves.”
Pierre, according to Brenda, “said persecution will fortify the Church, but then said this is not good news for Cameroon. He said when the state accuses somebody of something, you have to listen to him at least.”
On his part, “Reverend Theres Nchanji, pastor of the Holy Ghost Zone church that had been sealed for three months, is assisting pastors of other sealed churches in prayers. She said God will be the one to judge those who persecute His children,” according to Brenda. She quoted Reverend Nchanji as saying: “No state can do without a Church and the Bible says whosoever calls the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. 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.”
Meanwhile, CNN quoted Boniface Tum, a bishop at a Cameroonian Church of God, as saying that the government’s crackdown violates basic human rights.
His words: “Authorising only the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Muslim, and a few other churches, is a strict violation of the right to religion.”
Cameroon has a population of about 20 million residents, 54% of whom describe themselves as Christians and 800,000 as Pentecostals, but with number growing at an annual rate of approximately 7%.
Enforcement of the ban was intensified after a 9-year-old Christian girl collapsed and died during a prayer session in Winners’ Chapel, a Pentecostal church in Bamenda belonging to Nigerian Pastor David Oyedepo. The girl’s mother, Mih Theresa, had told CNN that the pastor intended to cast out the numerous demons that were in control of her daughter’s life.
•Photo courtesy VOA.
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