Deports Pastors of Controversial Church

Catholic Information Service for Africa, Nairobi/February 14, 2006

Two pastors of the controversial Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) have been deported by the Government despite a court order allowing them to work in the country.

Carlos Barcelos and Jammiya Claver were deported on Saturday night, February 11, to Brazil, their country of origin.

Peter Mumba, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, confirmed that the duo were picked up from their church by Immigration Department officers.

"Yes, I can confirm that the two pastors from the Universal Church have been deported. This is a Government decision which has been done for security reasons," Mumba told The Times.

Asked whether the state's action was in line with the recent High Court ruling over the matter, Mumba replied: "If it's about that, I am afraid I can't comment."

The government suspended operations of the UCKG countrywide in November last year pending investigations into allegations of Satanism, and later de-registered it.

On January 18 this year, the Lusaka High Court quashed the decision of the registrar of societies to de-register the church stating that its action was improper.

The pastors' lawyer, Mutakila Lisimba, has accused the state of defying the High Court judgment on the matter.

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