Catholic Bishops in Angola Denounce Heightened Political Activities on Sundays

Credit: ACI Africa

Members of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) have condemned political parties in Angola for interfering in Sunday worship in the country with the faithful allegedly being forced to take part in party activities in various regions of the country on the day that is meant for Church activities.

In a pastoral letter issued at the end of their February 28-March 4 First Annual Plenary Assembly, CEAST members urged the government to ensure the rights of citizens are respected.

“With deep anxiety and surprise, the Bishops have been informed that a practice, which was thought to be outdated, is gradually being resumed here and there,” CEAST members said in their Monday, March 4 pastoral letter.   

They added, “The faithful and especially civil servants are obliged to take part in political party activities on Sundays, a time established for worship, to prohibit sacred ministers, Priests and catechists from performing any worship and to compulsorily oblige them to take part in political party activities.”

“This practice occurs more frequently in municipalities, districts or remote areas where the pressure from the authorities and the fear of immediate or future rejection is greater,” CEAST members said.


In the pastoral letter titled “Deep Concern About the Freedom of Sunday Worship”, CEAST members “strongly disapprove of these acts because they violate the Constitution, violate human rights, hurt common sense and are extemporaneous.”

They appealed to the civil authorities, “as guarantors of citizens' rights, to defend the fundamental rights of citizens, which are so necessary for the harmonious development of our society.”

“We appeal to the conscience of the faithful to comply with the sanctification of Sunday,” the Catholic Bishops said.

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