Angolan puts 1,106 churches on notice

Sunday October 14 2018



Angola. MAP | NMG

Angola. MAP | NMG 

ARNALDO VIEIRA
By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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The Angolan government has put some 1,106 churches on notice for operating illegally.

The director for religious matters, Mr Francisco de Castro Maria, said the churches had been given a 30-day ultimatum to regularise their operations or be shut.

“The number of illegal churches in the country has reach 4,000,” Mr Maria told the state-owned Jornal de Angola newspaper.

Were already shut

“All the illegal churches have until next month to change their status," the Jornal de Angola newspaper quoted the director on Sunday.

According to the Culture ministry records, there were 84 legal churches in Angola, 1,106 others were awaiting recognition, while another 2006 churches were already shut.

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More than 50 per cent of the churches in Angola have foreign origin.

Their mother countries include the DR Congo, Brazil, Nigeria and Senegal.

The population

For registration, the Angolan government requires a church to present at least 100,000 signatures of followers, distributed in at least 12 provinces.

Angola has a population of 26 million spread across its 18 provinces.

About 90 per cent of the southern African country's population are adherents of Christianity and indigenous religions.

The Catholic Church's following in Angola is estimated at 55 per cent of the population. Muslims constitute between 2.5 to 3 per cent of the Angolan.

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