It has become clear for churches in Rwanda that there is need to be security sensitive especially that no one knows who is amidst where two or three are gathered.
As the region gets tense due to threats and attacks on civilians by various terrorist groups, churches in Rwanda are not taking the risk of witnessing any attacks on their Christians, and have beefed up security measures.
This comes at a time when several EAC countries have been victims of terror with this July eight people getting wounded, in a bomb blast in a restaurant in Arusha, and another 22 killed in town of Gamba in Kenya.
Though it may seem like churches are guarded with powerful prayer, several churches in Kigali have beefed up their security by posting security guards at church entrances, installation of surveillance equipment and more precaution on the personal property.
Mr. Theodoze Kabano, the administrator of Christian Life Assembly in Nyarutarama- a posh Kigali suburb revealed that the church has a plan of purchasing more surveillance camera to add on to the ones inside and outside the church entrance.
“The attacks in other countries may not be a threat to me personally but we are doing this to get prepared for anything that may happen. Not only bombs but also thieves and insane persons can be a threat.” Kabano said.
Kabano’s initiative of beefing up security has shown some fruits with some of the petty thieves who masquerade as Christians getting caught on camera.
“We recently managed to track a teenage thief, who stole an iPad from one of our Christians. We called police and when they re-winded the security tapes, we were able to identify the thief.” He said in a phone interview, that is why it very important for us to be sensitive even as churches”.
While women in other African countries are also involved in petty thefts, most of the common thieves in the churches in Rwanda are usually young men and according to Kabano, these teens- mostly under 23 years of age and school drop outs, are given some counselling lessons to keep them away from such behaviour.
Pastor Ronald Nkuranga, of Light Hills Church in Kimironko, currently renting a hall at Labana hotel premises for church services says that he has compelled the hotel administration to ensure the security of his Christians, without causing panic.
“We consider such security threats as our primary responsibility to ensure that our Christians are safe. We don’t take this lightly and even when the hotel security may be general, we have insisted that it’s beefed up,” Nkuranga said.
Most people argue that security check up should not be intensive at church premises and Nkuranga believes that this should be done discreetly
“We have asked the check-up are done far away from the entrance of the congregation, because it may cause fear among church goes. But I think check-up should be done at every church because you never know who is among where two or three are gathered- it may be God or Satan”.