Matola Council Fines Brazilian Sect

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)/December 20, 2004

The Municipal Council in the southern Mozambican city of Matola has fined the Brazilian evangelical sect, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD), 56 million meticais (about 2,800 US dollars) for illegally converting a supermarket into a church.

Inspectors from the Council visited the "Hamburguesa" supermarket on 13 December, and found that it was no longer a supermarket. Where food was once sold, there was now a 24 square metre altar, and the building had been divided into several rooms.

Such alterations require planning permission from the Council, but this had never been applied for. Nor was there any authorisation for changing the nature of the building from commercial to religious.

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