Islam Banned in Angola

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Islam Ban: Questionable Future for Mosques in Angola

While the constitution in Angola guarantees freedom of religion to all of its citizens, this right no longer seems to apply to the followers of the now banned religion of Islam. According to numerous newspapers in Angola, the African nation has banned the Islamic religion. It has become the first country in the world to take such a harsh stance against Muslims.

On November 22, the Angolan Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva said that “[t]he process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights [and so] their mosques would be closed until further notice.” Why the religion needs to be legalized has not been definitively stated by Cruz e Silva.

Cruz e Silva has also said that the closing of mosques is the most recent move in Angola’s effort to but a stop to so-called illegal religious sects. Under new laws in Angola, many religious sects have suddenly become criminal.

On November 24, Angola President José Eduardo dos Santos said that the country is working toward putting an end to Islamic influence in Angola once and for all. Again, there is no word of what or who has been influenced and why it needs to stop.

The Governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, has said that “radical” Muslims are not welcome in the country and that the Angolan government will not be legalizing mosques or other places of worship for Muslims.

Islam Banned in Angola

Small African Nation of Angola

The African country of Angola’s citizens primarily practice indigenous religions. Recent surveys show that 47 percent adhere to traditional indigenous beliefs while another 38 percent of the population practice Roman Catholicism and 15 percent practice Protestantism.

The now banned religion of Islam is practiced by a very small percentage of the 18.5 million inhabitants of Angola. Only about 80,000-90,000 Angolans practice Islam. These Muslims are primary migrants from West Africa and Lebanon.

While the means of becoming a “legal religion” is Angola is not clear at this point, the government is very harshly cracking down on the illegal sects. Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva has made it known that there are nearly 200 different illegal religious sects in Angola so it is not just Islam that has been banned in Angola.

Rosa Cruz e Silva has also said that there are more than 1000 applications that have been submitted by religious groups in an effort to legalize their sects. Islamic groups have made up some percentage of these many applications but it is not clear when or if they will ever be approved. Rosa Cruz e Silva said that the legalization process of Islam has simply not been approved and, therefore, mosques must remain closed “until further notice.”

While some mosque could theoretically reopen again in the future, some are gone forever. After Angola banned Islam, one of the country’s few mosques had its minaret was taken down in October. The city of Zango had its only mosque completely destroyed after the ban as well.

By  Nicci Mende
Op-Ed

Sources:

U.S. Dept. of State
La Nouvelle Tribune
All Africa
On Islam

 

311 Responses to Islam Banned in Angola

  1. Emerald Isle August 1, 2014 at 9:28 am

    What are people complaining about? Look at the surrouding Islamic African territories: WAR WAR AND MORE WAR. You can complain about Angola’s so called intolerance or prejudism against Islam but Angola is a predominately Christian nation, just as Saudi Arabia is an Islamic Nation, and even with Angola’s problems of unequally distributed wealth is enjoying civil peace and an unprecedented flow of international investment, with absolutely no argument about Angola’s intolerance towards Islam. Why is that? Because no other nation is willing to openly state that Islam equates to war. Angola has taken a moral stand against war and tyranny. And even the rhetorical threats that the Islamic countries attempted to issue did not deter the Government from its position. May The Lord continue to bless Angola with continued prosperity and clarity to help all of her people.

    Reply
  2. sean June 26, 2014 at 1:05 am

    why do the Muslims always say ‘dont critisise Islam’? this suggests that they are totally brainwashed and simple dont care what their religion teaches, all religions are intolerant, particularly islam- which teaches its followers that the ‘infidels’ are ‘unholy’ and should convert or be executed or en-slaved. i would be very proud of Australia if they banished the radicals back to an Islamic country aswell as those ‘moderates’ who enable the radicals. instead of this halal is being force fed to us, the holocaust is slowly being dropped in many public schools (because it offends Muslims), some neighborhoods are becoming (or have become) Islamic ghettos and mainstream society is calling islamophobia ‘racist’, how is critisising a religion against a race?

    Reply

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