“Noisy” churches and “aggressive” pasotors

Sharlien Tjambari

Shebeen owners are more cooperative than church leaders when it comes to controlling excessive noise. This was said on Sunday by Warrant Officer Ileni Shapumba, the Namibian Police in Erongo’s Community Affairs commander.

Shapumba explained there is a spike in the number of complaints received from the public over churches operating from illegal structures and premises. Members of the public are also complaining over some of these churches playing music excessively loud. Not only on Sundays but also during weekday evenings and often very late into the night.
“What about the shebeens and bars?” According to Warrant Officer Shapumba preachers are always making reference to shebeens and bars when they are challenged over noise pollution from their churches.
“This is a social issue and if not addressed will lead to social disorder”, said Shapumba. Adding the reaction by some church leaders when the Police confront them over noise pollution were described as “anger and disrespect”.
Warrant Officer Shapumba further explained the Namibian Police is acting against alcohol-related crimes throughout the country. Noise pollution, in this case loud music, is also a form of social disorder and if a church is playing excessively loud music the Police would act by confiscating any of the devices used to generate the loud music.
“Why must a church use large music speakers, even if the number of church goers is small? This is not sending out the right message to our communities and we expect church leaders or spiritual leaders to work with the Namibian Police on any issue that affects our society negatively rather than promoting it or resisting it”, he concluded.

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