On November 24, Angola President José Eduardo dos Santos said the country is working toward putting an end to Islamic influence in Angola once and for all.
The African economic news agency Agence Ecofin notes that, "According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking first measures by destroying mosques in the country."
Rosa Cruz e Silva, the Angolan Minister of Culture, said “The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice.”
However, no official explanation has been given as to why Islam currently faces a need to be legalized in Angola despite its presence in the country for many years.
Another French publication reports that a minaret of an Angolan mosque was dismantled last October, and that the city of Zango "has gone further by destroying the only mosque in the city."
Angola is a majority-Christian nation of about 16 million people, an estimated 55 percent of whom are Catholic, 25 percent of whom belong to African Christian denominations, 10 percent of whom follow major Protestant traditions, 5 percent of whom belong to Brazilian Evangelical churches and where only between 80,000 and 90,000 people are Muslim, according to the U.S. State Department.