President Jose Edurado dos Santos reportedly told the Osun Defence daily: ‘This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country.’
Along with Islam, which is a religion associated with less than 1 per cent of the population of 19 million, 194 other ‘sects’ have been banned in the nation, where more than half the population is Christian.
Ms Cruz e Silva said: ‘The legalisation of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights [and] their mosques will be closed until further notice.’
Clashes between Christians and Muslim people are frequently reported in the local media.
Manuel Fernando, director of the Angolan Ministry of Culture’s National Institute for Religious Affairs, denied the reported measures.
‘There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion,’ Fernando told Agence France-Presse. ‘There is no official position that targets the destruction or closure of places of worship, whichever they are.’
Less than 1 per cent of the Angolan population of 19 million people are Muslim the majority of whom are migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin, according to the US State Department.
The crackdown on Islam comes as Christians in the Middle East are being forced out from Muslim countries. China is said to have also taken major steps to ban Islam from The Nation.
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