THE Government has threatened to de-register churches that do not meet the standards as stipulated by the laws of Zambia.
Chief registrar of societies Kakoma Kanganja said last week that a church was expected to have a registration certificate, records of payment of annual returns and audit books of accounts.
Speaking during the random inspection and tour of some churches in Lusaka, Mr Kanganja said what had prompted the institution to carry out the exercise was the concern by the general public over the mushrooming of unregistered churches in many parts of the country.
Mr Kanganja said the exercise was expected to run for more than one month, during which time the institution would ensure that sanity returned in the communities, with people following the law.
“Looking at most churches that we have toured, it is evident that they are not registered and it is a pity to see people worshiping in such dilapidated structures, putting their lives at risk,” he said.
Mr Kanganja toured Faiz Abraar mosque, United Church of Zambia (UCZ), Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) and other churches in Lusaka’s Mandevu Township.
And public relations manager Moses Suwali said the exercise was aimed at ensuring that people followed the law.
Mr Suwali said some churches operated under undesirable conditions that put people’s lives at risk.
“We know of some churches that are operating under a tent or plastic with no proper ventilation, which is not healthy for the members of the church,” he said.
Mr Suwali said he never expected to have problems with the church because as children of God he expected them to follow the law and worship God in truth.
“You expect God to answer you when you are failing to build him a church and worship him in a place that is befitting of his status!” he wondered.
times of zambia