By Jane Nambi
The Pentecostal church in Angola has been suspended for a period of 60 days after the country suffered the death of 16 people and about 120 hurt.
The directive was issued by the Angola president in a statement. On New Year’s Eve at the Citadela Desportiva stadium in the country’s capital Luanda, there was a Pentecostal Christian Vigil which was organized by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD). Of the dead were three small children.
According to the statement, the vigil had attracted 150,000 people to a venue with capacity for 30,000. It added that the church had caused the overcrowding by marketing the event as “The Day of End – come to end all your problems in life: illness, misery, unemployment…”. As a result, the inquiry commission said it would pass its findings to the public prosecutors office to investigate criminal and civil responsibility.
Six other evangelical churches for the same period, adding that they conducted activities similar to those of IURD. In Angola, the Catholic religion is the main religion but other religions have been able to come and flourish over the last decade.
Ivory Coast had the worst case of New Year Eve stampede which saw 60 people dead.