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In god 

They are, by all means, money spinning enterprises. They do business in the name of God, rip off unsuspecting desperadoes, without paying any dime into state coffers by way of taxes on what their “holy businesses” turn out. To make matters worse, most churches operating in the Buea municipality like elsewhere in the national territory are doing so without authorisation from the State.
Whereas off licenses, which are, by all means, veritable tax generating earners for the state are being pushed to the back burner by municipal authorities in most of Buea, these houses of loud prayer are having a field day, making cool cash from uncertain Christians who are out in search not only of the elusive faith but also for wealth, spouses and the so-called fulfillment in life. 
Statistics from the Buea DO’s office hold that only about 100 of the over 200 churches in the municipality are duly authorised, even though the Government has persistently insisted that every church in the country must be authorised before it can go operational. 
However, any individuals have taken advantage of the fact that the State is not prompt in issuing authorisations and are setting up churches as their personal assets and using them to generate income for themselves from the alms offered by persons they succeed to convince. 
Most of these so called ‘men of God’ who, according to them, have received the power to heal and prophesy to people are living a life of affluence and influence, and riding in expensive cars while their followers, or is it victims, are living in abject poverty and misery, having sacrificed all their wealth in the elusive hope of reaping the pastor’s impending miracles. 
Most ‘Christians’ attend these churches in order to experience miracles, but most often end up being exploited and ruined. They move from one church to the other in pursuit of miracles. This is mostly as a result of the fact that most of these money-hungry ‘pastors’ and ‘prophets’ go to other churches and convince the Christians to leave their places of fellowship and join them where the real “holy spirit” dwells. Due to this, many people have lost their lives while others are living in deep regret and frustration because they realised they had found themselves in various cults all in the name of prayer houses. 
In a soul-searching sermon on Sunday, August 10, at the Great Soppo congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon titled ‘Peter thanks God’’, the Parish Pastor, the Rev Namaya  Elangwe, lamented on this issue of fake pastors nowadays and asked Christians to avoid them.
These churches can be found in virtually every neighborhood of the town, the thunderous noise emanating from their booming loud speakers leaves the inhabitants restless. Along Campaign Street, Great Soppo, Buea alone, there are close to 10 churches including the Presbyterian Church and Revival World Wide Mission Churches. Some consist of only 10 or 20 worshippers but their speakers are usually blaring.
According to Pastor Godwill Ambe of The Holy Trinity Ministries in Buea, churches are multiplying because children of God are fast realising the tricks of the devil and are turning to God for protection and salvation in order to re-possess their possession.
The owners of these churches claim that God Almighty Himself is the source of their authority to preach His word. Rev Henry Etoe of Believers World Church in Buea said: “It is absurd to get human authority to serve God. In the Book of Ephesians, Christ says ’’I have given you all authority in Heaven and on Earth…’’ Thus I cannot succumb to human authority” he added. While the churches that share Rev Henry’s view operate without fear, their counterparts who have not yet gotten authorisation are still trying to do so. 
Many of these churches that have submitted application files are still waiting for a reply, while some have interpreted the long silence as an affirmative reply to their request. Pastor Wilfred Lyonga and one of the Christians of Champions of Glory Bible Church, Bomaka, Buea, told this reporter that they have been waiting for a reply to the application they submitted some seven months ago, but are operating as they continue waiting.
Approached on the issue, authorities of the Buea DO’s office promised to shut down unauthorised churches. 
By Randolf Chomchishi (UB Journalism Student on Internship)

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