Breaking News

Evangelical Protestant churches blooming in Angola

by Staff Reporter
29 January 2013 | 4508 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

Is Itai Dzamara eyeing the US Green Card?

Yes
16.32%
No
78.24%
Not sure
5.44%
239

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Zim mum in the UK passes HIV to teen daughter - UNITED KINGDOM - A Zim...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 0 Views

Highlanders players demand more cash

by Staff Reporter | 27 March 2015 | 80 Views

Matopo National Park fencing completed - Matopo Rhino Protection Initi...

by Stephen Jakes | 27 March 2015 | 95 Views

Filabusi prosecutor's house raided - The yet unknown thieves broke int...

by Stephen Jakes | 27 March 2015 | 144 Views

Zanu-PF: a genuinely nationalist party - IF there are any political pa...

by Reason Wafawarova | 27 March 2015 | 89 Views

Woman (41) strips for stepson (21)

by Thobekile Zhou | 27 March 2015 | 446 Views

Two Grade 5 pupils rape schoolmate, 'inspired by movie' - TWO Grade fi...

by Thobekile Zhou | 27 March 2015 | 736 Views

Man catches wife in steamy bath with his best friend

by Thobekile Zhou | 27 March 2015 | 1667 Views

One child raped every four hours in Zimbabwe

by Thobekile Zhou | 27 March 2015 | 1015 Views

Zimbos in Ethiopia to pay $50 to see Mugabe - Zimbabweans living in Et...

by Staff Reporter | 27 March 2015 | 2320 Views

'Zimbabweans let's stop blaming Tsvangirai and MDC-T for NO Reforms'

by Prof Richard M Simango | 27 March 2015 | 1272 Views

Madzore back in the dock for 'Mugabe is a limping donkey' slur - The C...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 1488 Views

Mphoko's Maleme intervention null and void at law

by Lulu Brenda Harris | 27 March 2015 | 2069 Views

ZBC ordered to pay Muchechetere $2 million - ZBC faces a liability of ...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 1503 Views

Grace Mugabe battles colon cancer

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 3926 Views

AAG president Guzah vies for Mliswa seat - Affirmative Action Group pr...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 668 Views

Gumbo, Mutasa court Tsvangirai - With the economy in freefall and life...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 2177 Views

Zanu-PF playing dirty in by-election - Zanu-PF is expected to romp to ...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 991 Views

Muchinguri confirms Grace Mugabe is abroad for treatment - Zanu-PF pol...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 1361 Views

Mutasa, Mliswa cry foul over lost seats - Former Zanu-PF secretary for...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 653 Views

Prof Jonathan Moyo outraged as Econet raids news agency

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 1435 Views

Daily News editors fired for moonlighting - ASSOCIATED Newspapers of Z...

by Nyemudzai Kakore | 27 March 2015 | 1403 Views

Brainworks withdraws $20m Telecel offer after rights offer close - Bra...

by Staff reporter | 27 March 2015 | 651 Views

Man-beating wives 'escape punishment' - POLICE are biased against men ...

by Marvelous Moyo | 27 March 2015 | 1057 Views

Zimbabwe National Army recruits officer cadets - THE Zimbabwe National...

by Oswell Moyo | 27 March 2015 | 1462 Views

Mugabe returns home from Algeria - President Mugabe returned home yest...

by Hebert Zharare | 27 March 2015 | 1076 Views

Zinara toll gates collections treble

by Lloyd Gumbo | 27 March 2015 | 1079 Views

Mugabe backs Mudenda - President Mugabe said former Zanu-PF secretary ...

by Daniel Nemukuyu | 27 March 2015 | 1204 Views

Nikuv swap by-election voters roll days before voting start - it is th...

by Wilbert Mukori | 27 March 2015 | 1632 Views

Vic Falls renames streets after Mugabe/Nkomo - The resort town of Vict...

by Staff Reporter | 26 March 2015 | 1429 Views

Entertainment

Buju Banton released early and deported, rumors untrue

by Staff Reporter | 27 March 2015 | 1493 Views

Mutodi praises Mnangagwa in new song - Flamboyant sungura musician-cu...

by Staff reporter | 26 March 2015 | 1731 Views

Tuku teams up with Bra Hugh for Cape Town Jazz Festival - The 16th Cap...

by Arts reporter | 26 March 2015 | 524 Views

ZimOnline Radio sponsoring the ZimCup Clash trophies - ZimOnline Radio...

by Staff Reporter | 25 March 2015 | 1007 Views

Kwaito legend dies

by Staff reporter | 25 March 2015 | 6047 Views

DJ Sbu in Forbes cover scandal

by Staff reporter | 23 March 2015 | 5071 Views

DStv to cut off SA subscriptions - Multichoice intends to cut off Digi...

by Staff reporter | 23 March 2015 | 8410 Views

Film, TV and Radio Drama Script Writing and Pitching Workshop in Byo -...

by Bongani Ncube | 21 March 2015 | 3839 Views
iBlog

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

The Nsa Gets An Ok For Telephony Metadata Collection Yet Again

As much as we’d like to forget about the national security agency (nsa) and its mass surveillance program, it seems that there is no distracting ourselves from this unnerving reality.missing from the news for quite some time now, the issue has resu... Read More
SecNews 09 July 2014 ago