Luanda — The director of the national institute for religious affairs (INAR), Francisco Castro Maria, admitted last Tuesday in Luanda the possibility that the authorities might close down the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in Angola, in case it is proved the accusations made by top members of the institution.
Director of the Institutional Communication and Press Office of the Interior Ministry, Waldemar José
The information was released to the press, after an inter-ministerial meeting on monitoring the exercise of religious activity, belief and worship, which addressed the situation of the UCKG and the process of recognition of religious denominations.
On November 28, a group of 300 Angolan bishops and pastors announced the break with Bishop Edir Macedo, the church's leader, for alleged doctrinal practices contrary to religion, such as the requirement to practice vasectomy, chemical castration, as well as illicit financial flows.
In response, the board of the Universal Church declared that it is a "network of lies devised by former pastors disconnected from the institution due to moral deviation, criminal conducts and even practices, with the sole purpose of having their greed sated".
Despite the fact that the Ministry of Culture has not "taken any action yet", in the face of this scandal, in case of confirmation of the accusations, Law 12/19 of 14 May, of Freedom of Religion, in its article 48, stipulates the suspension, revocation of recognition and extinction of the religious denomination, in case it is necessary to apply this last measure, depending on the seriousness of the criminal acts.
Currently, INAR has been making contacts with the parties (Angolan and Brazilian), for the restoration of peace in the IURD.
Investigations in Progress
In criminal terms, the process is on the preparatory phase and should be sent to trial as soon as it ends, according to the director of the Institutional Communication and Press Office of the Interior Ministry, Waldemar José.
He stressed that of the accusations made and contained in the letters that the bishops, pastors and workers sent to the police, "there are enough materials to trigger a criminal case because they are public crimes".