BUJUMBURA November 19th (ABP) – The Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Education and Local Development, Mr. Pascal Barandagiye, held a meeting with the governors of the provinces in Bujumbura on Friday November 15, 2019.

He said that the central theme of this meeting was “The contribution of religious denominations to peace and security during the election period”.

Mr. Barandagiye further indicated that during the meeting, an expert from the Ministry made a communication on “tolerance and political manipulation during an election period”.

According to the Minister of the Interior, it is extremely important that everyone can play their role in the contribution for peace and security especially religious denominations.

As experience has already shown, when these religious denominations function properly, they deliver a message of peace and the country is stable but on the contrary when they send message that deviates from peace and security things go wrong, he added.

According to Mr. Barandagiye, it was mainly agreed that leadership conflicts in the different religious denominations should cease. Thus, until the aftermath of the 2020 elections, no elective assembly of the new bodies in any church is accepted.

According to him, experience has already shown that one of the origins of conflict that manifests itself in churches is leadership. He said everyone needs to focus on organizing free, peaceful and transparent elections.

Minister Barandagiye said that in these days the situation is good within religious denominations with the exception of a few irregularities that occur at the level of only three churches, including the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Living Church, and the EAC Church.

Regarding the ongoing conflict in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he said that this is an issue that has somewhat exceeded the scope of the ministry since it has already been dealt with more than once in the Presidency of the Republic.

However, the minister has asked everyone to be placated first and that peace and quietness should prevail in the church and if there are claims they can do it peacefully without excluding anybody. People can sit together and choose a consensual leader within the church.

In the same way, the Minister of the Interior reiterated his commitment to contribute remarkably in relation to all the people involved in one way or another in this matter in order to find a better solution to that conflict.

Compared to the living church, he pointed out that this is a conflict that lasts more than 17 years, where there is even a trial of that period. These are two churches that operated under a single ministerial ordinance and he said that this ministry has contributed a lot to the establishment of consensual institutions but that so far there are those who refuse authority of elected leaders. In that regard, he reassured that his ministry will continue to contribute so that the elected officials can, naturally, go about their activities.

As for the third conflict, he indicated that the issue has found a satisfactory solution as there are no more complaints about the case.

At the same meeting, the Minister of the Interior expressed a desire to include in future meetings with political parties and local administration and some representatives of religious denominations.

In that regard, he stressed that he would like all structures having an influence on the population to have the same information at the same time.

According to him, from experience; it has been found that in some churches there are messages passing through that really show that they are not really aware of what is prevalent.

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