The Blaze (Nov 25) — Angola, a nation located in southern Africa, has reportedly become the first country in the world to officially ban Islam.
In addition to outlawing the religion, India Today reported that “the demolition of mosques” will also be implemented as part of the new government policy.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos reportedly said Sunday that the new regulations will usher in “the final end of Islamic influence” in the country.
The ban was first announced Friday by Angolan Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva, Israel’s Arutz Sheva reported. While Silva did not reference destroying mosques, she is quoted as advocating and mandating their closure.
“The process of legalisation of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice,” Silva said according to India Today, adding that Islam is ”contradictory to the customs of Angola culture.”
Islam isn’t the only religion being targeted: India Today reported that other religions will also be restricted under the law, though it is unclear which ones it will include.
Angola has an estimated population of approximately 20 million people, with the vast majority subscribing to Christianity of some sort, but with tens of thousands who belong to other religions.
“A small portion of the rural population practices animism or indigenous religious beliefs,” the U.S. Department of State described. “There is a small Muslim community, unofficially estimated at 80,000 to 90,000, most of whom are migrants from West Africa or of Lebanese origin.”
It is unclear if this latest ban is new or simply a continuation of previous policy. In its 2012 “Report on International Religious Freedom,” the State Department said that Angola was already scrutinizing non-traditional religious beliefs in the country.