A New Years Day worship service turned deadly in Angola after 16 people (3 of whom were children under the age of 4) were killed as a stampede broke out to enter the stadium for services. The Cidadela Desportiva stadium seats 70,000 and some reports say up to 150,000 people tried to get in for the service provided by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. According to CNN.com:
People had been arriving at the stadium since the morning, the Jornal de Angola reported Wednesday, leaving no space for those who arrived later in the day. Witnesses said all the gates were open and that people could also watch the service on big screens placed outside, the newspaper reported. However, anxiety led people to push through a set of the gates into the stadium, causing a stampede, it said. Witnesses told the newspaper the situation was aggravated when bags of holy water by the gates burst in the confusion and created a dangerously slippery surface on the entrance slope. The deaths occurred as a result of crushing and asphyxiation, Angola Press reported, quoting Angola’s national firefighters’ department spokesman Faustino Sebastiao. Another 120 people were injured, the news agency said.
What is it about religion that makes people so fanatical? What would overcome you to the point of trampling a child to death and injuring hundreds more? Is it worth it at that point?
But what’s more complicated is, what’s driving them to feel that need? Is it the frenzied fire and brimstone speach of a Pastor or the deep seeded longing to respond to Jesus’ call?
Source: CNN: Death Toll From Stampede at Stadium Vigil Rises