Angola: Culture Closes Illegal Churches in Zaire

Mbanza Kongo — Illegal churches operating in the province of Zaire will be closed in the coming days, the director of the provincial office of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports, Nzuzi Makiesse, told ANGOP.

Municipal directorates have been instructed to carry out a survey of the churches in these conditions, Makiesse said.

Nzuzi Makiesse recalled that the presentation of 60,000 signatures is one of the requirements for a religious denomination to be legalized in Angola, as established by law 10/19, of 14 May, which sets out the other procedures for this purpose.

He explained that the cultural sector in the region controls 90 recognized churches, most of which are Christian, a number that he says hopes to be confronted with data available at the National Institute of Religious Affairs, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment.

Another 97 religious organizations are in the process of legalization, of which 16 have already received permission.

In the meantime, he warned local religious institutions to refrain from facilitating clandestine entry and stay in the region of their supposed members from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Nzuzi Makiesse spoke against the cults given in foreign language (Lingala) instead of Portuguese and Kikongo adding that a pedagogical action is underway to sensitize those responsible for religious institutions to reverse the current situation, with the prospect of pastors, mostly from DRC, adapt to the reality of Angola.

The province of Zaire has a population estimated at 594,000 inhabitants most of whom are Christians.

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