Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome (CEAST) have condemned restrictions on the freedom of Sunday worship in some parts of Angolan society.
Vatican News and Anastácio Sasembele – Luanda, Angola.

The Bishops meeting as CEAST for their first annual plenary session of 2024, say they are concerned about reports of the faithful, especially civil servants, being forced to take part in political party activities on days of worship, especially in some remote areas of the country.

In a Pastoral Letter, “With Deep Surprise: On the Freedom of Sunday Worship,” the Bishops condemned the practice of holding political party activities and events on days of worship where the faithful, especially civil servants, were obliged to attend. Many locals attend the party activities out of fear of victimisation or reprisals from authorities and local party functionaries.

Some of the Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and Sao Tome (CEAST) at an open-air Mass.
Presenting the Pastoral Letter at a press conference, on behalf of CEAST, Archbishop Luzizila Kiala of Malanje Archdiocese reiterated that Sunday is a special day of the week dedicated for worship.

Quoting from the Pastoral Letter, the Archbishop denounced the prohibition of “sacred ministers -priests and catechists from carrying out any worship and compulsorily forcing them to take part in party political activities.” This, the Archbishop said, goes against the country’s “constitution, human rights, hurts common sense and is out of date.”

By Joy

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