Nigeria shuts down churches over noisy worship

2015-08-27 18:26

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Authorities in Nigeria's financial capital Lagos have shut down churches across the city after a glut of complaints over noisy worship.

The chaotic megacity's environmental protection department said it had sealed off 22 premises on Wednesday after receiving dozens of calls a day, according to local newspaper reports.

Neighbours of one church - Jesus Our Lord Divine Catholic Prayer Ministry - said they were constantly disturbed by a congregation of mainly pregnant women, young mothers and their children.

"On my phone alone, I get 20 SMS on a daily basis," said Adebola Shabi, head of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, according to the national daily New Telegraph.

"In the next five years, if there is no stringent policy on the siting of religious houses, there will be problem."

Constant noise - from the the thumping beats of loud music, the beep of car horns and the noise of generator engines - is the soundtrack to Lagos life and is seen by many as part of its charm.

But residents are complaining in unprecedented numbers that they can barely hear themselves think among the churches and mosques where giant loudspeakers pump out religious messages and music.

Officials receive around 50 telephone calls and 20 text messages a day complaining about noise, mostly from churches, the New Telegraph said.

"With the enforcement today, we would have sealed about 55 premises because the last enforcement we carried out, we shut 33 premises," Shabi told reporters.

"I gave approval for closure of 22 premises today, making 55."

Religion is big business in Lagos, a city of around 20 million which has seen more than 6,000 traditional and alternative places of worship spring up in recent years, according to the authorities.

Shabi said the churches would be allowed to reopen after paying fines starting at $250.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.