Catholic Bishop Decries Illegal Immigration, Says “a threat to Angola’s sovereignty”

Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Cabinda Diocese in Angola. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Illegal immigration in the Southern African nation of Angola has the potentiality of disrupting the ability of the country to govern itself, Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Cabinda Diocese has said.

Addressing journalists on February 4 after his pastoral visit to Our Lady of Lourdes Malembo Parish of his Episcopal See, Bishop Chissengueti also decried the rising poverty levels among the inhabitants of his Diocese.

“The phenomenon of illegal immigration, specifically here in our province of Cabinda is a real threat to Angola’s sovereignty,” the Angolan member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp./Spiritans) said. 

He added, “There's a risk that right now young people leave the villages because they have no future and some elements of subsistence such as cassava and maize could be taken over by others and there will no longer be a place on our table for these products.”

“Before it's too late we need to wake up to this reality, and have a concrete programs to encourage our farmers and young people,” the Catholic Church leader further cautioned.


He went on to decry the high rate of poverty in Angola, saying, “Poverty has been going on for more than 50 years, because communities still lack basic necessities for their welfare.”

“There is an anguish about the future, since in the past we were unable to provide more opportunities and solutions." the Bishop of Cabinda Diocese, who doubles as the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for youth, university ministry and Scouting of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) said.

He continued, “The poverty that is lived in communities is painful; the lack of water, the lack of electricity, the lack of communication, the lack of access roads, and certain areas remain more or less the same as they were more than 50 years ago.”

“We really need to have a program that allows us to change the way of life of the people who live in these communities,” Bishop Chissenguet, who has been at the helm of Cabinda Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in September 2018 told journalists during the February 4 press conference. 

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.