Images circulating on social media in Luanda depict a strong police presence in the early hours of Wednesday, in front of the UCKG temple in Maculusso, where dozens of worshipers were in vigil and prayers who were forced to leave the place.
Videos and photographs describe moments of panic in front of and inside the Cathedral with reports of some wounded, among pastors and faithful, following the dispersion of these supposedly with tear gas and action by the canine brigade.
"Yes, all of us, the people of the church, have been prevented from entering the Maculusso temple since dawn today. We have been here to keep vigil every night and today we were forced to leave the premises right in front of our church", he said this Wednesday to Lusa Engrácia Miguel.
At least four people were injured as a result of this act, said this member of the UCKG, who regrets the attitude of the national police and administrative authorities who "intend to impose" a new leader on the UCKG in Angola.
"At this moment, the police took over the premises and we are away, we are more than 500 thousand faithful and we do not accept the imposition of Mr. Valente (bishop of the dissenting wing) who wants to appoint himself as leader of our church", he said.
"The judgment was clear, the pastors were acquitted, we waited the two years patiently, we waited for justice, but now that the court's decision has come and the church has been exonerated, we don't see why the police come after us," he added. Engrácia Miguel.
The Maculussso temple is among more than 100 people assigned to the UCKG in Angola, who were closed for two years, under a court order.
The police in Luanda said that the measure resulted from the fulfillment of a court order and that of these "acts of contempt, no one was arrested".
The Luanda Provincial Command of the National Police announced this Wednesday that access to the temples of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in Angola remains prohibited until the court notifies the police authorities for their lifting.
The information was transmitted by the police spokesman in Luanda, Nestor Goubel, stating that the corporation began to develop a police operation "leading to guarantee compliance with the interdiction order issued by the court".
Asked by Lusa about the existence of injuries, the spokesman said he has no knowledge, but that the police will investigate this information.
A judgment by the Luanda District Court, dated March 31, 2022, acquitted the UCKG pastors of the crimes they had been accused of and ordered the "lift of the seizures and the immediate return" of the temples, closed two years ago, as he said. on Tuesday Bishop Alberto Segunda.
Alberto Segunda (leader of the Brazilian wing), who was speaking at a press conference, reported that the reopening of the UCKG's temples, a week ago, was followed by alleged "threats and intimidation" by officials from the National Institute of Religious Affairs (INAR) Angolan and police officers against their faithful.
The direction of the IURD recognized by INAR is headed by Bishop Valente Bizerra Luís, who coordinated the reform commission that came into conflict with the Brazilian leadership of the UCKG in 2019.
Both wings - the one of Brazilian origin, now led by the Angolan Alberto Segunda, and the dissident wing, from Angola, led by Valente Bizerra Luís - claim to be the legitimate representatives of the church founded by Edir Macedo.