Rwanda: COVID-19 - Dozens of Faithful Arrested While Praying in Homes

An aerial view of Kigali Convention Centre and its environs in Kimihurura.

Police in Musanze District have arrested at least 29 faithful of various Christian churches for breaching the government directive banning congregating in ungazetted areas.

The faithful were arrested following six fresh directives that the Government issued on Friday in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The latest directive came after a similar one a week back which suspended public worshipping and schools as a means to contain the spread of the virus.

"It is forbidden to take praying activities to inappropriate places such as in prayer rooms, congregating in homes or in caves," read in part the second directive signed by the Minister for Local Government, Prof. Anastase Shyaka.

According to Chief Inspector of Police Alexis Rugigana, the Northern Region Police Spokesperson, police were tipped by residents.

Twenty-nine believers were arrested during the operation that Police conducted in homes from across the district since Friday, Rugigana said, adding that those who were caught in action were currently being detained at Muhoza Police Station pending investigation.

Three of the suspects are members of the Seventh-Day Church who were arrested as they were celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday.

Rugigana urged the general public to protect their lives and those around them by abiding with all the directives that the Government has issued to contain COVID-19.

"As the ministries of health and local government instructed people should avoid social distancing; praying in churches, in prayers' rooms and other areas like caves is banned as long as coronavirus is still in the country," he said.

He went on to warn that whoever will breach the directives meant to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be brought to book.

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