The Angolan government has recently shut down at least 34 churches in the country following an operation dubbed Operação Resgate (rescue operation), according to police sources. The churches were shut down for operating illegally.
The police operation commenced on November 6, and is expected to continue till the end of the year.
19 churches were closed in Cabinda Province, 11 in Luanda and 4 in Malanje Province, according to Mr Orlando Bernardo,the national police director for communication.
The Angolan government had recently declared that over 50 percent of churches in the country were foreign and that at least 1,116 of them were operating illegally. The churches originated from countries like Nigeria, DR Congo, Brazil and Senegal according to the government.
Operação Resgate (rescue operation) is not only targeting instituting order in worship; but also on the roads, fighting unregulated hawking and illegal migrations in addition to others.
In its first week of operation, it arrested at least 509 people for various crimes. Among those detained included three foreign nationals; two from DRC and one from Republic of Congo.
In addition the Angolan authorities have repatriated 26 DRC nationals as a result of illegal stay in Zaire Province; as confirmed by the Foreign and Emigration Services (SEM).
16 people were repatriated from Luvo, 6 from Nóqui and 4 from Kimbumba border point, according to SEM.
Zaire Province is about 481Km north of the Angolan capital Luanda; and the cross border Luvo market plays host to an estimated 1,000 businessmen and women from Angola, Republic of Congo, Namibia and DRC.