× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
VAS

Angola bans church groups after deadly sect clashes

WORLD
By Reuters | April 30th 2015

Angola's government has banned nine church groups operating in central Huambo province, where the main opposition party said hundreds were killed this month in a police crackdown on a rebel Christian sect.

The Huambo provincial government and the national police have declared the fringe Christian groups illegal under new rules that require denominations to have 100,000 registered members spread across at least a third of Angola's 18 provinces, the state-run Jornal de Angola said.

Rights groups say the bans are an example of the increasing suppression of civil liberties and freedom of speech under President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the mostly Catholic southern African country for 36 years.

"Government has control over the main church movements and it understands what influence they have," said Elias Isaac, country director at the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa.

"When you no longer belong to the formal system that the government feels it can control, you become a threat."

The bans come two weeks after Angolan police said nine of its officers were shot dead during raids in Huambo province aimed at capturing Jose Kalupeteka, leader of the illegal sect "The Light of the World", which has an estimated 3,000 members.

Police said popular anti-authority preacher Kalupeteka was later captured and only 13 sect members were killed.

However, the main opposition party UNITA said police and military killed more than 1,000 civilians in a backlash against the millenarian sect, which predicts the world will end on Dec. 31 and discourages engagement with politics.

Reuters has been unable to verify the number of deaths as the area around the incident has been cordoned off, making it difficult to speak to witnesses or anyone from the sect.

Officials have accused the group of mistreatment, including sending young members out to live in isolation and discouraging people from being inoculated against polio.

UNITA accuses security forces of orchestrating the violence to suppress planned nationwide anti-government demonstrations.

AmAngola, an organisation supportive of dos Santos, has organised a rally against The Light of the World this weekend in Huambo, a traditional UNITA stronghold.

Angola, Africa's second largest crude exporter and a key oil supplier to China, still suffers from sporadic violence as it recovers from a 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002.

Share this story
Suspended EACC Vice Chair Irene Keino resigns
Suspended Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Vice Chairperson Irene Keino resigned Thursday hours after members of a tribunal to probe her and suspended chairman Mumo Matemu were sworn in.
Diabetes: Insulin now an essential drug
Listing NCDs is a relief to Kenyans like 65-year-old Kahuho Mathai from Nyeri County, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

;