SA police arrest 1,500 in church
During the police raid on Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg , the churchs window and doors were damaged. A Church leader was also bullied by the police.
January 31, 2008 South Africa (BBC News)-South African police have raided Johannesburg’s Central Methodist Church, arresting around 1,500 homeless people and Zimbabweans.
The police said they were looking for drugs, guns and illegal immigrants.
But Paul Verryn, the church’s bishop, described the raid as a violation of the sanctity of the church. “I think it is despicable,” he told the BBC.
‘Violation of rights’
It was, he added, an attack on the very institution of the Church.
An AP news agency reporter said several doors had been forced open and a window smashed.
He said he had been “bullied” by the police, who had grabbed him by the belt.
Wednesday night’s raid is the first time the police have targeted the Central Methodist Church , which is widely respected as a shelter for some of the city’s most desperate people.