LUANDA: Angolan authorities have suspended an evangelical movement following a deadly New Year’s Eve stadium stampede, state media reported today.
Pastors turned away worshippers at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God yesterday, after the government imposed the 60-day ban, according to the Jornal de Angola.
The church, better known by it’s Portuguese abbreviation IURD, is at the centre of a criminal investigation after 16 people were killed in a stampede at a New Year’s Eve prayer meeting at a massively overcrowded stadium in the capital Luanda.
The stadium could hold only 30,000 people, but the IURD hosted 152,600 people at the event, the government said in a statement announcing the ban.
Church officials had previously indicated it was an 80,000-seater stadium.