As Africa’s God Wars churn on, it appears that majority-Christian Angola is taking steps to ban Islam on its territory:
Weekly French-language Moroccan newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune published an article on Friday sourcing “several” Angolan officials, including the Southwest African nation’s minister of culture, Rosa Cruz, who reportedly offered the following remarks, which have been translated from French: “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.”The media reports have not described why exactly Islam apparently faces a need to be legalized despite its presence in the country for many years.OnIslam.net reports that the African economic news agency Agence Ecofin wrote that Cruz made the statement at an appearance last week before the 6th Commission of the National Assembly. The website goes on to note 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.”
This is emphatically not a good idea. There are many Christians in Africa where religious conflict is rising, and Christian believers and churches have suffered attacks and intimidation. They are increasingly tempted “to do unto others as they do unto you”—or even to do unto others before they do unto you. Our advice, difficult to follow as it may be, is to stick with the original version of the Golden Rule. Religious persecution is not the way of Christ, and history has too many examples already of the horrible things that can happen when Christian believers indulge.If specific preachers, funders or organizations incite or practice violence, society has a right to protect itself. But people who live peacefully and obey the laws of the land should never fear persecution because of their faith—or for that matter, their lack of it.