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Brazilian IURD leaders in Angola accused of money laundering and criminal association

Four leaders of the Brazilian wing of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) in Angola, including the former maximum representative, Honorilton da Costa, are accused of the crimes of money laundering and criminal association, reported the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) .

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Among the accused are also the former director of Record TV Africa, Fernando Henrique Teixeira, bishop António Correia da Silva and pastor Valdir Sousa dos Santos.

According to the SIC communiqué, the process is the result of complaints signed by more than 300 members of the IURD, including bishops and pastors, received on December 3, 2019, which led to the opening of a criminal case, and a charge has now been filed against the four defendants.

The case was referred to the Public Prosecutor's Office, which "after the analysis and practice of subsequent procedural acts, referred the case to a court" on May 5.

Conflicts between the Brazilian wing and the Angolan wing of the IURD in Angola have been dragging on since the end of 2019, with exchanges of mutual accusations and ongoing legal proceedings.

Recently, the reformist wing (Angolan) was legitimized by the executive and resumed the services, taking control of the cathedrals in the country, which had been apprehended last year by the Attorney General's Office, while the Brazilian wing tries to reverse the decision in court.

Last month, 22 Brazilian members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) in Angola, among pastors and their women, received notifications from the Migration and Foreigners Service to leave the country.

The decision to cancel the temporary stay visas, granted to 51 pastors and bishops, due to the cessation of ecclesiastical activity in Angola, came as a result of a letter from the new Angolan direction of the IURD.

Also in April, Record TV África, a television channel belonging to IURD, was suspended by the Government, as were the channels ZAP Viva and Vida TV, after the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication detected "legal non-conformities".

Ten days later, Record TV África announced the departure of its director, the Brazilian Fernando Teixeira, and declared that it only had Angolan workers on its staff.

The MINTTICS statement stated that Record had as executive director a non-national citizen and indicated that the channel's foreign staff, who exercise journalistic activity in the country, were neither accredited nor accredited by the Aníbal de Melo Press Center.

The Record network recently released several critical reports from the Government, stating that Brazilian religious are the target of xenophobia in Angola.

The internal dispute in the IURD started when a group of Angolan dissidents decided to withdraw from the Brazilian leadership, with several accusations, namely of foreign exchange evasion, racism, mandatory vasectomy practice, among others, all rejected by the missionaries of the created church. by Brazilian Edir Macedo, who also accuse Angolans of xenophobia and aggression.

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