Pupils doomed to silence

5th October 2007 at 01:00
IN TANZANIA, pupils sing the national anthem, God Bless Africa or get excluded. At four schools there, 140 pupils have been suspended for refusing to sing it.

Not because they think it's uncool to sing, nor because they were embarrassed by their voices, but because they were members of a doomsday cult.

The apocalyptic sect, the Tent of the Holy Spirit, prohibits members from voting, attending national functions, or singing the anthem.

Rehema Kihemba, regional schools commissioner, directed police to probe the rising numbers of doomsday cults in the area. She warned that parents who condoned such activities would be prosecuted.

"The government is not against the freedom of worship, but against anti development forces in disguise of religion," she said.

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