Ver Angola


IURD in Angola criticizes “narrative” of former pastors and says that the church is “mostly Angolan”

Bishops of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) in Angola rejected what they classify as a “false narrative” of a group of dissidents, stressing that the church in this country is “mostly Angolan”, including in leadership positions.


In an open letter, seven Angolan bishops of the IURD claim to make known "the whole truth about the merciless persecution" that the church has been suffering, in an allusion to the internal conflict that has been escalating since November last year and that culminated in the rupture of a group of Angolan dissidents with the Brazilian wing and the taking of several temples.

The dissidents, who have meanwhile created a reform commission, accuse Brazilian leaders of practices contrary to religion, such as racism, forced vasectomies and embezzlement, and two criminal proceedings against the IURD are currently underway.

In the letter sent to the newsrooms, the seven bishops stress that the IURD has been legally installed in the country for 28 years and has always integrated Angolans in its leadership, with pastors and bishops of various nationalities in Angola.

"Until eight months ago, the church had eight Angolan bishops, with only one bishop left, now leader of the dissent (rebellion), with seven remaining unscathed in the church", they point out.

In the letter they accuse the ex-bishop, Valente Bezerra, of having internally mobilized some dissident pastors and ex-pastors, "alleging disagreement with Brazilian pastors and so many other infamies that serve as arguments to support their thesis of rebellion and justification for committing criminal acts such as: invasion, theft, aggression, slander, fraud, among others ".

IURD officials also complain of being the target of partial news, for "the contradiction of the leadership of the Church or exempt witnesses is not reaped", accusing Angolan public media of "honoring this way of communicating when it comes to hurt the IURD institution ".

They also claim that "the false narrative" constructed by former pastors is that they fight against Brazilian bishops and pastors and ask: "where do Angolan bishops and pastors who stay in the church put themselves? Are the dissidents more Angolan than that all of us? "
They also criticize the authorities' silence while witnessing "the violent destruction of the Church's heritage and physical aggression of pastors", questioning whether Angolan and foreign bishops and pastors of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God are not worthy and deserving of state protection.

The growing tensions have already led to the involvement of the governments of both countries: Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, wrote to his Angolan counterpart, João Lourenço, asking for protection for the Brazilian bishops. For his part, the head of diplomacy, Téte António, assured that the relationship with Brazil is good and that justice is "dealing with this issue". However, the Minister of State, Carolina Cerqueira, announced that a report on the incidents will be made, noting that "there are indications of some crimes".


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