A RAMPAGE by a mob of thousands in the Zambian capital Lusaka was triggered by rumours that an evangelical church practised Satanism and had sacrificed two hostages.
"We have arrested and detained 14 people while the pastors and leaders of the church are in our custody for protection because people want to kill them," police spokesman Chrispin Kapela said.
In Lusaka on Saturday afternoon and overnight, residents smashed windows of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, set fire to church buildings and threw rocks at vehicles in the city centre.
They then marched on the church's new multimillion-dollar cathedral, which was to be opened officially next week, in the belief that two people had been kidnapped and were to be sacrificed at the church, Mr Kapela said.
Riot police took up stations in strategic parts of the city and armed officers were deployed at the cathedral.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a sect originating in Brazil in 1977, was banned by the Zambian government, but resumed operations after recently obtaining a court order to overturn the ban.
Dirty pool, old man! I would not be the least bit surprised if a rival blindlight group spread the rumors amongst the stuporstitious peasants in order to prevent this wealthy church from taking away from their business. Clever, yet all too typical.