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11/16/2018 Angola (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this year Rwanda and Cameroon put into action new religious legislation that forced hundreds of churches to close their doors, now it appears Angola is following in their footsteps.

A local source, stated that the government is now requiring churches to register with the government in order continue to be a legal church. In order to do so, the church must present at least 100,000 signatures of followers. This new law has led to the closure of over 2,000 churches, with another 1,000 expected to close.

Francisco de Castro Maria, a government director for religious matters, stated that “the number of illegal churches in the country has reached 4,000.” Yet, the reason for the high number of illegal churches is because since 2004 the government had failed to recognize any new churches forming.

With a population of 29 million Christians and only 84 registered churches, the church was forced to start smaller churches in the community to break up.

The country’s culture minister, Carolina Cerqueria, reported that the new law is meant to “act against unregistered bodies which are a threat to human rights and against the principals of urban life and positive coexistence.”

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].