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Angola Denies Reports About Islam Ban

Published: 26/11/2013 04:47:57 AM GMT
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CAIRO – In what can be described as a first official reaction to reports about Islam ban in Angola, officials at the Southwest African nation’s Washington embassy have denied the reports as erroneous, asserting their country’s respect for all faiths.. “The Republic of Angola … it’s a country that does not interfere in religion,...(more)

CAIRO – In what can be described as a first official reaction to reports about Islam ban in Angola, officials at the Southwest African nation’s Washington embassy have denied the reports as erroneous, asserting their country’s respect for all faiths..

“The Republic of Angola … it’s a country that does not interfere in religion,” an official at the Angolan Embassy in Washington, DC, who did not want to be identified discussing the sensitive matter, told International Business Times via telephone Monday, November 25.

“We have a lot of religions there. It is freedom of religion. We have Catholic, Protestants, Baptists, Muslims and evangelical people.”

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Prophet Muhammad & Freedom of Faith Freedom of Expression: The Muslim Definition Several African and Angolan newspapers and news agencies have reported Sunday that Angola has banned Islam in its country, in a very unprecedented step taken by a country against one of the Abrahamic faiths.

Quoting the nation’s Minister of Culture as offering statements, the reports said that the Angolan authorities moved to destroy mosques in the country, including a mosque in the urban municipality of Viana, Luanda which was destroyed last October 17.

Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos reportedly weighed in on the controversy, as he was quoted in Nigeria's Osun Defender newspaper on Sunday as saying, "This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country."

Though failing to confirm the authenticity of the report, a second official at the Angolan Embassy in the US reiterated that the diplomatic seat has not been made aware of any ban on Islam in the country.

“At the moment we don’t have any information about that,” the official told IBTimes via phone on Monday.

“We’re reading about it just like you on the Internet. We don’t have any notice that what you’re reading on the Internet is true.”

“The president has been out of the country for a week,” the first Angolan Embassy official added, contending that as such he could not have made the remarks as they were reported.

The first Angolan Embassy official was not able to verify comments attributed to Rosa Cruz e Silva, the Angolan Minister of Culture.

“I cannot confirm if the Minister of Culture said that. I cannot find that in our press,” the official said.

Angola is a majority-Christian nation of about 16 million people, of whom an estimated 55 percent are Catholic, 25 percent belong to African Christian denominations, 10 percent follow major Protestant traditions, and 5 percent belong to Brazilian Evangelical churches.

According to Wikipedia, Islam in Angola is a minority religion with 80,000-90,000 adherents, composed largely of migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin.

Muslim Angolans are represented by the Supreme Council of Angolan Muslims of Luanda.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here

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