LUSAKA – Zambia on Tuesday banned a controversial evangelical church facing allegations of practising satanism and human sacrifice and the target of violent attacks over the weekend.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a sect originating in Brazil, has been barred from operating in Zambia following allegations that it was involved in human sacrifice, home affairs secretary Peter Mumba told reporters.
“The government has decided to suspend the church operations in Zambia with immediate effect,” Mumba said.
“The decision has been precipitated to allow for investigations into the allegations, which we consider very serious,” Mumba said.
Thousands of people in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, went on rampage on Saturday, smashing windows of the church and stoned vehicles after they were told that two people had been kidnapped and were about to be sacrificed.
The controversial Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was banned by the Zambian government in 1997 but resumed operations after obtaining a court order.
Angry Lusaka residents over the weekend also burned down some of the church buildings before marching to a newly constructed multi-million dollar cathedral, which the Universal Church was about to officially open this week.