Parliament Passes Law On Freedom Of Conscience, Worship, Religion

Angola`s National Assembly (parliament) has approved a law on freedom of conscience, worship and religion as constitutionally consecrated, a recent edition of the state gazette reads.

The law is divided in four charpters and 20 articles, highlighting the laity of the Angolan State and equality of treatment to religious institutions, as long as in harmony with the norms and doctrine`s principles and the law.

It highlights the citizen`s freedom to profess or not some religious faith, to change the confession faith, to express own convictions and difuse in writing, in audiovisuals or any other communication mean, the religious doctrine that confess, as well as to practise the acts or specific professed cults, in private or in public.

The law safaguards the citizen`s right not to state his her confession, except confidentially, in statistic inquiries stablished by law, being that no one can be deprived of any civil, political and professional right, nor suffering discrimination in the access to posts in plublic or private firms, due to religious convictions.

The practice of worship is licit and optional, not needing a special authorisation nor information to the competent authorities about the meetings held by the confessions, as long as being held within churches and appropriate places. The law make provisions for free cellebration of rites linked to funerals in cemeteries, as long as they do not disturb public order and social peace.

Meanwhile, the law devotes the holding of funeral procession out of holy places to the law of right of meeting and demonstrating, as no citizen or institution is allowed to invoke the religious freedom or conscience`s objection for the practice of acts that are incompatibles with the life, people`s physical integrity or dignity, the public order or under the law the fundamental principals of the Angolan constituional order.

The religious confessions get juridical personality by acknowledgement done by the Government, through the Ministry of Justice, with the favourable opinion of the Ministry of Culture, through an application signed by a minimum of 100,000 adult belivers and residing in the country and at least from two thirds of the total provinces.

Within the terms of the law, churches and religious organisations administrate themself freely, not submitting to the regime of tutelage, and the collective religious people are free from the obligation to get authorisation for acquisition or collecting of necessary goods for the holding of their activities even concerning immovables goods, safaguarding the ethnic, social and cultural principals and the legalcy.

It guarantees, on the other hand, the recognition of the right to assure the training of worship ministers and create and manage appropriate infrastructures for that purpose.

The construction or setting up of churches, missions, temples, chapels or similar worship infrastructures of registered religious confessions complies with the administrative provisions of the law.