Pastors And Imams Must Now Get Approval Before Preaching In Kaduna State

Kaduna State Government has passed a new bill which bans open religious preaching, Pastors and Imams must be licensed before preaching.

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has passed the Religious Preaching Regulation bill into law, which is similar to that of 1984 in the state.

The bill which was opposed by Muslim and Christian bodies as well as individuals across the state since it was brought to the Assembly in 2016, was passed hours before the eighth Assembly was dissolved on Friday.

The bill seeks to regulate religious preaching in Kaduna State with a view to promoting religious harmony and peaceful co-existence amongst the residents of the state. It also seeks to ban open public preaching and it attracted opposition from both Christian and Muslim groups in the state.

Speaker of the state house of assembly, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Shagali revealed that a state inter-faith Regulatory council has been established.

The chairman of the council will be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation for the Secretary to the state. Also to be appointed by the Governor of Kaduna State are two members from the Muslim and Christian faith.

According to Shahali, the local Government Inter-faith committee shall consider and recommend to state Inter-faith Regulation Council all applications for the grant of licence to religious preachers as well as screen and recommend preachers for the grant of license among other functions.

The supplementary provision explained that all cassettes, compact disks (CDs), flash drives or any other communication gadgets containing religious recordings from accredited preachers may be played inside a private dwelling unit or vehicle, entrance porch (zaure), Church, Mosque and any other designated place of worship.

It further stated that any person who plays religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes between the hours of 11pm to 4am in a public place, and uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes other than inside Church or Mosque commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or pay a fine of less than N200,000.00 or both.

The bill added that any person who publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt any religion, by making false statements in such a manner as to be likely to lead to a breach of peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years a fine of not less than N100,000.00 or both.

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