Churches Ban Political Campaigns After Stampede Kills Dozens at Prayer Vigil
More than 24 people were killed after a weekly all-night prayer vigil in eastern Nigeria took a tragic turn this weekend.
Officials are still investigating what caused a stampede at Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry in Anambra State, which had gathered an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people for All Souls Day. In addition to overcrowding and possible false claims of a fire, the presence of state governor Peter Obi was alleged to be another factor, though his entourage had left the event hours before the stampede occured.
However, the local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has still banned political campaigns at church events in response. "It's wrong to come into the church and begin to talk about manifestos and begin to campaign," CAN South-East chairman Emmanuel Chukwuma told Nigeria's Daily Post. "It is not going to be acceptable any more because it causes commotion and disrespect to one another. ... This does not augur well for our spiritual growth."
CT previously reported how Angola suspended some Pentecostal churches after a similar stampede at a New Year's Eve prayer vigil in the capital city of Luanda killed 16 people and injured more than 120. In May, a stampede killed four at the Ghana branch of controversial Nigerian megapastor T.B. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations, where the crowd was attempting to receive "anointing water."