Rowdy coastal churches called to order

29 May 2016 15:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 29 MAY (NAMPA) - Churches at coastal towns which make themselves guilty of noise pollution were last week called to order by the police.
After several complaints from community members about the noise made by these churches, the police on Tuesday held meetings with pastors where they asked to tone it down.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Community Policing Affairs officer for the Erongo Region, Sergeant Ileni Shapumba told Nampa on Sunday he held meetings with two pastors from churches in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and warned them to respect the local authority laws.
This was after he was bombarded with text messages from people complaining about noise coming from the True Gospel of Salvation Ministries International in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
“Noise is the most disturbing thing, especially at night when people are trying to sleep. These churches use big speakers in the streets and they go on overnight,” said Shapumba.
He said all churches should refrain from using speakers; should conduct services inside the church buildings and keep the noise levels low.
“In Walvis Bay we even sent the police to intervene last week. They must preach to people in their church not to everyone in the street by using loudspeakers,” he said.
The officer said some of the churches which are regular offenders are not legally registered and sometimes people living in the vicinity did not give their consent for a church to be opened in their neighbourhood, hence the complaints.
“They must respect the supreme law of the country. People in those churches sometimes just believe in religion and nothing else, but we have the law so they must follow it,” the officer said.
Shapumba also said sometimes when the police approach the churches and ask them to make less noise, they ask the police if they do the same with shebeens.
He said he finds it strange that churches compare themselves to shebeens.
“But since our meetings I have not received any complaints so I hope they understood and decided to do the right thing,” he said.