Breaking News

Evangelical Protestant churches blooming in Angola

by Staff Reporter
29 January 2013 | 4266 Views
Luanda - Evangelical churches are blooming in Angola, a traditionally devout Catholic nation, as its impoverished people turn to the promises of proselytism and Protestantism.

In a country of about 19 million people, Pope Benedict XVI drew a crowd of one million faithful when he visited the former Portuguese colony in 2009, and three in five Angolans belong to the faith.

But a few years later, the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Earth claims at least 800 000 followers. Similarly, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, commonly known as IURD, counts 400 000 members.

These evangelical Protestant churches hope for the sort of decline in Catholicism witnessed in Latin America in recent decades.

"Recent churches like the Pentecostals have had most success because they tie spiritual development with personal prosperity," said Jose Evaristo Abias, pastor and teacher at the Superior Theological Institute of Lubango in the south of the country.

Prosperity teachings offer a way out to the widely illiterate population, most of whom survive on less than $2 a day, despite Angola's oil riches and strong economic growth in the past few years.

"People are looking for reasons to hope and evangelical churches offer new solutions with their dynamic sermons, joyful celebrations and obligation to contribute financially to develop the movement," said Siona Casimiro, editor of Catholic newspaper O Apostolado (The Apostolate).

Gena Marcos, 40, a member of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God explained: "I cannot give some money to the church every month but I try to do it as often as possible, to thank the church and to contribute to its development, to buy some chairs, to buy some books."

Some observers say this encourages people to take control of their lives and be more active in their communities.

Freedom of religion

Others brand it manipulation and indoctrination akin to sects, whose leaders are the main financial beneficiaries.

"Some people lost interest in the real world, in their family or neighbour, waiting for a better life after the death, others end [up] in a total poverty because of the church's drains," said Elias Isaac, from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, a non-government group.

But the churches don't take the criticism lightly.

"Our detractors are people who oppose religion in general and who are prejudiced against the church," said Joao Antonio Bartolomeu, an IURD leader.

"We call on them to respect freedom of religion as enshrined in the Angolan Constitution."

Originally from Brazil, the IURD movement last year drew almost 200 000 people to a Luanda stadium during a New Year's Eve prayer meeting. The stadium was packed far beyond its 80 000-seat capacity and the overcrowding led to a stampede, in which 16 people were killed.

The congregations say they do a lot within communities.

"We have several services a week, courses and trainings, and we do social uplifting for children, the youth, and women in poor areas," said pastor Antonio Domingos Cabral, a director at the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Earth.

The movement last August inaugurated a giant cathedral, which can hold 20 000 people, in a densely populated suburb of the capital Luanda.

High-ranking politicians

To increase their clout, churches form their own companies "notably in media conglomerations, which helps them create jobs, make money and remain independent", Abias said.

IURD owns global television network TV Record, also known as Miramar, and has also branched out in Mozambique, another Portuguese-speaking southern African country.

"Foreign movements maintain close relations with private companies of the same nationality that also operate in Angola. IURD has done this with [Brazilian construction company] Odebrecht, which increases their influence," said Elias Isaac from the pro-rights foundation Open Society.

"There's a lot of work to do to register and control the practices of these churches to make sure they respect the country's law," he said.

Some churches also count high-ranking politicians among their members.

The Catholic Church, which risks appearing like a colonial relic that is unable to modernise, hopes the new upstarts will be shown to be false prophets.




"These churches are attractive because they promise a lot, but they also disappoint people a lot," said Father Queiros Figueira, of the Viana diocese in Luanda.

"When their promises don't come true, people come back."

Pentecostals Evangelical

Source: Sapa

Could there be war if Grace Mugabe becomes President?

Yes
75.61%
No
8.94%
Who cares?
15.45%
246

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

The End of Mugabe and Mujuru, rise of Mnangagwa

by Itai Mushekwe | 23 October 2014 | 2457 Views

Macheso 'infected' husband with STI just before wedding day

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 2157 Views

Mnangagwa escapes death by a whisker

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 2726 Views

Woman launches new political party - A NEW political party, the Afric...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1985 Views

Tillage starts at a slow pace

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 986 Views

Salaries dominate govt expenditure - Public sector salaries continue t...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1574 Views

Gun shot in Canada parliament building - Video

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1339 Views

Veld fires kill nine people

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1794 Views

Man threatens to kill dad over money from rent - A disobedient son wen...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1894 Views

Dr Simba Makoni Leave Dr Grace Mugabe Alone

by Suitable Kajau | 22 October 2014 | 4466 Views

Msipa demanding answers from Mugabe - HARARE - Respected Zanu PF elder...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 4707 Views

'Grace Mugabe a liar' - HARARE - Opposition leader Simba Makoni has br...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3044 Views

State must have nothing to fear - Dzamara - Over 150 people today turn...

by Itai Dzamara | 22 October 2014 | 2660 Views

'I saw a vision of me ruling the heavenly kingdom' says Grace Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 4614 Views

Woman says she steals for a living, Magistrate left speechless

by Leonard Ncube | 22 October 2014 | 2632 Views

Cyclist kills pedestrian - A cyclist has been fined $400 for hitting a...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1550 Views

Mother of Pistorius's girlfriend insists she did not want 'revenge'

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1775 Views

Uniting the Ndebele People - The Mzilikazi Cultural Association, MCA i...

by Mzilikazi Cultural Association | 22 October 2014 | 1579 Views

'Insecure' man locks wife in bedroom until he returns from work

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3789 Views

Wrong Ndebele spellings in Coca-Cola Ads - After launching its "Share...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3866 Views

Duo arrested for sodomising boy (10) - A 10-year-old boy has allegedly...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 2020 Views

Update from Africa Unity Square - Live Update - This live update is fr...

by Africa Unity Square | 22 October 2014 | 5343 Views

BREAKING: Cops in riot gear chase people from Africa Unity Square

by Concerned Citizen | 22 October 2014 | 5828 Views

Dr Grace Mugabe's tours breathes hope

by Tawanda Museve | 22 October 2014 | 3442 Views

Matebeleland pressure group - cum political party takes Zanu PF war to...

by Tongai Zwayisa | 22 October 2014 | 3210 Views

Power cuts disrupt Sadc conference in Vic Falls

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1691 Views

Ebola vaccine trials in West Africa by January says WHO

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 923 Views

Zimbabwean woman and her 3 children die in horrific car crash in Austr...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3164 Views

Entertainment

Zim representative in the Big Brother Africa survives eviction - Zimba...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 2353 Views

Grace Mugabe's political comedy takes ZTV hostage - For the past two w...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 4641 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi to deliver lecture at Musica 2014 - Zimbabwe's interna...

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1340 Views

Gezha maoko - Ladybee (Official Video)

by Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 2330 Views

Matebeleland Music & Arts Festival - Sivala umnyaka ngengoma lapho sit...

by Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1651 Views

Obediah Matulana releases Christmas DVD - Bulawayo-based musician Obed...

by Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1884 Views

Grace Mugabe honoured in song - Dancehall outfit Final Warning has rel...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2358 Views

US firm makes money off Zimbabwe concept - United States transport sh...

by Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2959 Views
iBlog

Those Behind Tb Joshua Watch Photo Proof!

when this couple (dave and angie) were indicted of being the masterminds behind tb joshua watch, the blog admins refuted it and denied any sort of connections with the couple, but that’s not what the facts portray as precisely every single one ... Read More
pointblank 13 July 2014 ago

The Zero-day Vulnerability Cve-2014-4114 Impacting All Versions Of Microsoft Windows

new microsoft windows zero-day vulnerability - cve-2014-4114on tuesday, october 14, 2014, isight partners - in close collaboration with microsoft - announced the discovery of a zero-day vulnerability impacting all supported versions of microsoft win... Read More
SecNews 16 October 2014 ago