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Society

New IURD governing body led by Angolans published in Diário da República

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) of Angola, led by the Angolan bishop Alberto Segunda, saw its new governing body published in Diário da República, which came out of the last extraordinary assembly, held in June this year.

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At a press conference, it was also announced that the amendments to the statutes of the IURD are included in the Diário da República of 7 October this year.

In a statement, read by Bishop Manuel Mendes, the church considers that the publication in the Diário da República "shows clearly that the legitimate leadership of the IURD has always been guided by truth, transparency, respecting the norms in force in Angola".

"Thus, we believe that it is imperative for the bodies of the administration of justice, the holders of the ministerial portfolios of the department who oversee religious activity, to speak out, as well as to take steps to reopen the sealed temples and the consequent restoration of freedom of conscience , religion and belief of the faithful, constitutionally enshrined", says the note.

According to the church, since November 2019 it has been the target of several attacks, "perpetrated by dissident ex-pastors and pastors, whose sole purpose is to tarnish the institution's good name, in a clear demonstration of an act of rebellion and attempted takeover of control of the institution by criminal means".

In the statement, the IURD considers illegal the assembly held on February 13 this year, "carried out by subjects who are not members of the church, nor do they belong to its governing bodies, and thus do not have any powers of representation or legitimacy".

The extraordinary assembly held last June, in addition to the election of the spiritual leader and presbyter of the IURD in Angola, Bishop Alberto Segunda, also elected its board of directors and the assembly table.

The statement emphasizes that despite "various attacks" the church has remained firm in its ideals of spreading the gospel and the result of this are the various actions and social and evangelistic works carried out by hundreds of missionaries and thousands of members from Cabinda to Cunene".

Speaking to the press, the IURD's legal advisor, Ângelo dos Santos, said that the publications had already been sent to the local administration bodies, and are awaiting a statement.

"The publication in the Diário da República is recent, only on the 19th it became public, so the contacts were made on the 22nd and we will wait. The contacts were made, the letters were sent and we will wait for the pronouncements", he referred.

In March of this year, the Angolan government recognized Angolan bishop Valente Bizerra, as the bishop of the IURD in Angola, elected at an extraordinary general assembly held in February.

The crisis in the IURD in Angola results from differences between Angolan and Brazilian pastors and bishops about the management of that institution and complaints of humiliation, discrimination and economic crimes.

Alberto Segunda replaced the Brazilian bishop Honorilton Gonçalves, who is involved in a judicial process by the Angolan authorities.