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Tue, 28 Jul 2020 16:52 - Updated Tue, 28 Jul 2020 16:54

Universal Church denies charges in Angola

Luanda - The board of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in Angola considered the accusations made by Angolan pastors and bishops to be false.

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Detail of the temple of the Universal Church of Kingdom of Church in Luanda

Photo: Pedro Parente

On 28 November 2019, the self-denominated "Commission for Reform of the UCKG" presented to the Angolan authorities a manifesto with several denunciations, including the practice of vasectomy, money laundering, racial discrimination and tax evasion.

The alleged crimes are being investigated by the Attorney General's Office.

In a letter of right to reply to a news item published by Angop on 20 July this year, entitled "Angolans denounce defamation", the church management denies the existence of wards and accuses the Reform Commission of trying to "appropriate the UCKG and its asset".

This is the full text of the religious institution's letter of right of reply:

Your Excellency the Director of Angop - Angola Press Agency

King Katyavala Street 120/122

2181 Luanda

Luanda, 24 July 2020

Subject: Exercising the right of reply

Mr. Director,

Under the provisions of Articles 73 and 74 of Law No. 1/17 of 23 January ("Press Law"), the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (hereinafter, "UCKG") exercises its right to respond to the news entitled "Angolans denounce defamation" published on the website of your agency on 20.07.2020, in which the UCKG is directly targeted with facts that could seriously damage its reputation and honorability, as well as that of its representatives, constituting, moreover, the practice of criminal offences, which is why we will exercise here our right of reply.

(1) It should be remembered that the self-styled 'Reform Commission' of the UCKG, which is nothing more than a group of dissidents trying to appropriate the UCKG and its assets by force through manifestly illicit tricks, has never been recognised as legitimate by the UCKG's own bodies, its members, workers or the Angolan courts.

2. The narrative of the News is based on a communiqué of the alleged Reform Commission of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God which illegally uses the name and distinctive elements of the UCKG to prevail over its reputation, and thereby achieve clearly illegitimate purposes.

Annex

Right to reply

The content of the journalistic piece published on Angop's website and replicated by various media, with Angop as the source on July 20, 2020 is likely to seriously damage the reputation and honorability of the UCKG, its representatives and Bishop Honorilton Gonçalves , since it leads readers to the false conclusion that there is a smear campaign, in addition to claiming an alleged crime that the police authorities themselves at the time denied in various media outlets.

In any case, the UCKG cannot fail to highlight the falsity of the accusations spread by the group of dissidents and reproduced in the News.

           The UCKG also regrets that Angop, supported by the rhetoric used by the group of dissidents, published news likely to exacerbate a climate of xenophobia and racism against members of the Brazilian nationality of the UCKG, by creating the conviction, as has been said, that there would be a Brazilian wing and an Angolan wing within the UCKG, false and biased information, since it has been proven that the UCKG is composed mostly of Angolans.

          The interest of the UCKG is to peacefully pursue its vocation of spiritual and social assistance and support, at various levels, to its thousands of faithful and to the most needy segments of the Angolan people, without its mission being attacked daily with calumnies and defamations in addition to those taken outside the law.

The UCKG, its representatives, workers and faithful deserve and long for respect and that they be treated with justice and impartiality. Even if this goes against the interests of a group of individuals with inconfessed purposes.

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