22 November 2018

Angola: National Assembly Passes Law On Freedom of Religion

Luanda — The National Assembly last Wednesday passed, in general terms, the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion, Belief and Cult, as well as the Draft Code of Criminal Procedure, during the institution's first ordinary plenary session of the 2018/2019 Legislative Year.

The deputies approved by unanimity the Draft Code of Criminal Procedure, while the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion, Belief and Cult received 170 votes in favour, none against and six abstentions from the CASA-CE coalition.

The Draft Code of Criminal Procedure, which was presented by the minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz, comes to light in the ambit of the ongoing reform process in the justice sector.

The Draft Law on Freedom of Religion, Belief and Cult is intended to put some order and legality in the practices of religious denominations and better monitor the phenomenon.

Under such juridical proposal, preachers or ministers of religion are required to have a degree in Theology to be eligible to function as such.

Meanwhile, on 15 October this year, delivering a State of the Nation message in the National Assembly, in the ambit of the opening of the 2018/2019 Legislative Year, President João Lourenço stated that although the state promotes freedom of religion and conscience, the government condemns the use of religion by some unscrupulous individuals who, under the guise of religious affairs, try to easily get rich by extorting the faithful who are already struggling to overcome poverty.

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