Rwanda: Women Activists Alarmed By Deported American Pastor’s “Outrageous” Claims

Women activists have been left stunned by “outrageous” claims by a conservative American pastor who was deported Monday after he was declared a “prohibited immigrant”.

Rwanda’s Directorate General for Immigration and Emigration ordered removal of Gregg Brian Schoof several hours after he was arrested by the police for “disturbing public order”.

Schoof was arrested outside Amahoro stadium in Remera where he had convened journalists for a news conference after a bar where he had booked a room the event denied him access because he failed to provide necessary approval from authorities.

At the gathering, he distributed a statement containing wild allegations against the Government and several regulatory organs that sanctioned him for repeated violations by his now-defunct Amazing Grace Christian FM radio station.

His FM radio station’s license was revoked by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) in April last year over failure to comply with the regulator’s sanctions arising from a controversial sermon that denigrated women.

The show, in which a radio presenter and evangelist Nicolas Niyibikora denigrated women referring to them as evil, was aired on January 29, 2018.

Niyibikora later fled the country after a group of women activists lodged a case against him, according to Rwanda Invesntigation Bureau.

Women activists have since condemned both the sermon that depicted women as “source of all evil” and Schoof’s attempt to defend Niyibikora and his own insolent claims that undermine the country’s gains in inclusiveness and equality.

Olive Uwamariya, a gender activist, said it was obvious that Niyibikora’s remarks last year were highly inflammatory and disrespectful to women, adding that the now-closed radio station and its boss promoted sexism.


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