Evangelical Radio Station Shut Down, Six Employees Arrested

( [email protected] ) Aug 10, 2004 10:25 PM EDT

On August 4, 2004, National Intelligence Agency (ANR) officers raided the premises of a Lubumbashi-based evangelical radio station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), the ANR officers confiscated all of Radio Hosanna's equipment, including its transmitter, and arrested six employees and a follower who were present at the time. The seven employees are being detained at an ANR detention center in Kapenda.

According to information received by JED, the ANR accused Radio Hosanna of airing a sermon by Pastor Albert Lukusa on July 31 that "incited citizens to rebel against the national authorities".

In a June 31 sermon, Lukusa, who heads the Church of the New City of David, gave a "country situation report" in which he discussed the role of the church in the country and accused government officials of "not responding to the basic needs of citizens". On August 3, ANR officers arrested Lukusa, and on the following day, August 4, arrested the six Radio Hosanna employees.

Radio Hosanna was launched in February 2003. Seventy percent of its programming is given over to evangelical broadcasts. The remaining airtime is made up of news and public affairs programs.