Jump directly to the content

Stampede Kills 16 at New Year's Pentecostal Vigil in Angola

(Updated) More than 120 injured during UCKG vigil at overcrowded stadium.

Update (Feb. 4): The Angolan government has suspended church activities by the UCKG for 60 days, as well as other Pentecostal churches deemed to operate in a similar manner. Criminal charges are still pending.

––-

A stampede during a New Year's Eve church vigil in Angola's capital Luanda killed 16 people, including at least three children, Reuters reports.

Earlier accounts had reported only 10 deaths in the stampede that occurred at the gates of the Cidadela Desportiva stadium on New Year's Eve. However, the official death toll rose to 16 this morning, and the Angolan news agency Angop cited officials as saying that 140 people also were injured.

The stampede occurred during a vigil organized by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), a Brazilian Pentecostal group.

"We were expecting 70,000 people but far more turned up," Ferner Batalha, a UCKG bishop, told Agence France-Presse.

Angolan police chief Paulo de Almeida told Angop the stadium has capacity for only 50,000 attendees–and that he estimated around 150,000 people were trying to attend the vigil, overwhelming the security measures when anxiety and panic ensued.

CT has previously reported on Angola and the UCKG, especially in Brazil where Pentecostal growth has surged.

Related Topics:Africa; Angola
Posted:January 2, 2013 at 10:53AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Died: John ‘Jack’ Templeton Jr., Billionaire Philanthropist Who Backed Science-Religion Research
Leader died two days before $1.7 million Templeton Prize was awarded to Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche communities.
Theology Feud Pits Half of Town's Protestant Churches Against Another
Coordinated sermon series against ‘progressive Christianity’ seeks to ‘demonstrate the unity of the body of Christ.’
Sister Momeka: Liberate Christian Lands from ISIS
(UPDATED) After State Department approves visit, nun tells US congressmen that Iraqi Christians wish to return home.
Christianity Today
Stampede Kills 16 at New Year's Pentecostal Vigil in Angola