Claim: Angola, an African Nation banned Islam and is destroying mosques.
Fact: There are no recent news reports or credible sources confirming a ban on Islam or the destruction of mosques. This same claim has been in circulation since 2013. The government of Angola, in the past, clarified that there is no ban on Islam. However, it has also been clarified that certain mosques were destroyed or closed in the past because they were built without government permission. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
With the relevant keyword search regarding the claim, we did not come across any recent news reports or authentic sources stating the ban on Islam or the destruction of Mosques. However, we found that the claim has been in circulation since 2013 with misleading pictures of destroyed buildings and that it has resurfaced again (here, here, and here).
From the news reports, we found that clarification regarding the claim was given by the Angola government in 2013 (here and here). The officials confirmed that there is no ban on Islam and that there is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion. They also clarified that few mosques were destroyed or closed down because they were constructed without government approval or proper permission, while at the same time, there are mosques that are being run without any problem in the country.
According to the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom by the U.S. Department of State, Angola’s constitution makes it a secular state, guaranteeing freedom of religion and preventing discrimination. For government recognition, religious groups need to meet specific criteria, and those not registered may be shut down. INAR officials mentioned that the government hasn’t recognized Islamic groups because they lack a unified leadership. Government officials in the past cited concerns about certain Islamic practices, such as polygamy, conflicting with the country’s constitution.
The law in the country for acknowledging official religions mandates that religion must be practiced by over 100,000 people and be present in at least two-thirds of the nation. However, individuals are free to follow any faith, even if it’s not officially recognized.
To sum up, Islam is not banned, and there is no destruction of mosques in Angola.