Namibia: Lutheran Church in Ohangwena Vandalised

THE police had to be called to the scene when the Evatelo parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) near Endola in the Ohangwena region was vandalised two weeks ago.

Telecomcommunication lines near the building were allegedly stolen, and when The Namibian visited the church yesterday, five windows were smashed, but a case was not registered at the police yet.

The church's caretaker, Veikko Hasheela (76), yesterday said the windows were smashed two weeks ago.

He believes the culprits are young people.

Hasheela said the church was built in 2012 and cost the congregants more than N$250 000.

This was not the first time the church was vandalised, he said.

"It also happened last year. Four windows were damaged and we thought it was kids. Last week, when I came to church, I found stones and pieces of glass inside," Hasheela said.

He then alerted other parish members about the incident, he said.

"They told me to inform our constituency councillor, Ferdinand Shifidi, to rebuke them [the young people]," Hasheela said.

Shifidi on Friday made an announcement on Kati FM's early-morning show, 'Lunganda', saying the culprits should stop vandalising the church and surrounds immediately.

Hasheela said three poles belonging to the church were missing.

"They cut the poles and took them with," he said, urging the vandals to "repent".

"If by doing this they think they are hurting us, they are lying to themselves.They are hurting God, because what they are doing is against God's will. We will continue with our work," he said.

This is the second Elcin parish to be vandalised in two weeks.

Two weeks ago burglars allegedly broke into the Ombogodhiya parish office in the Omusati region and burnt church documents.

They also stole a laptop, valued at N$4 000, and two jars of communion wine.

Among the burnt items were Bibles, hymn books and parish announcement books.

Pastor Martha Nekwaya (28) said the incident took place on 28 December last year while she was away for the weekend.

She said she now lives in fear.

It was also not the first time this parish was been broken into.

The church office was burgled last year, when suspects stole N$3 000 in cash, Nekwaya said.

She said a criminal case has been opened at Okahao Police Station.

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