Angola has reportedly declared Islam illegal and ordered for all of the country’s mosques to be closed down.
Minister of culture Rosa Cruz e Silva said that mosques in the largely Christian country would be closed until further notice.
She described Islam as a ‘sect’ that would be banned as counter to Angolan customs and culture.
There are unconfirmed reports that mosques across the African country are being destroyed, according to the International Business Times.
President Jose Edurado dos Santos reportedly told the Osun Defence daily: ‘This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country.’
Along with Islam, which is a religion associated with less than 1 per cent of the population of 19 million, 194 other ‘sects’ have been banned in the nation, where more than half the population is Christian.
Ms Cruz e Silva said: ‘The legalisation of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights [and] their mosques will be closed until further notice.’
Clashes between Christians and Muslim people are frequently reported in the local media.
Manuel Fernando, director of the Angolan Ministry of Culture's National Institute for Religious Affairs, denied the reported measures. 'There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion,' Fernando told Agence France-Presse. 'There is no official position that targets the destruction or closure of places of worship, whichever they are.'