Angola has banned Islam. Or so the headline screams. Christianity is the State Religion now.
I know there will be many saying this is a good thing, but not me. There should never be such a thing as a ‘state religion’. I have no religion and don’t care who believes in what, but banning a religion merely serves to drive it underground. The Romans banned Christianity once. Look how that turned out.
A ‘state religion’ means the State determines what you believe in. As with the Spanish Inquisition, who rounded up anyone not Catholic and demanded they convert to Catholicism. Indeed, it happens even now in many Muslim and even some Buddhist states. If you have the wrong religion you are a target, with State support for the hatred aimed at you. I might have no religion but I think all the smokers, at least, can appreciate how that feels.
Religion is a personal matter. People with religion will tell other people about it, that’s only to be expected. They believe they have found God, and maybe they have, and they want to share what they believe to be a good thing. I don’t listen, but I can understand why they want to tell me. If I don’t have time to hear about it, I don’t hear about it. It’s not a problem at all.
Religion can get out of hand, it’s true, and Islam currently attracts more than its share of nutters, but Christianity is not entirely blameless in that regard either (*cough* Westboro Baptist Church). If he who is without sin is to cast the first stone, there’d never be a stone thrown again.
The article makes it all about Islam but –
Along with Islam, which is a religion associated with less than 1 per cent of the population of 19 million, 194 other ‘sects’ have been banned in the nation, where more than half the population is Christian.
They have banned 195 religions including Islam – basically, everything except Christianity. I wonder how much more than half the population is Christian? 51%? 52? Potentially, there could be nine million non-Christians who have just had their religion declared illegal. And before the atheists start crowing, I’m willing to bet atheism is banned too. If not, it will be.
This does not make Angola a champion in the ‘fight against Islam’, it makes Angola exactly the same as Saudi Arabia but with a different State religion. They have used Islam as the excuse to hand the Church a monopoly.
It won’t end with Angola. Islam has been allowed – no, encouraged – to strut around and be belligerent for all these years for a reason. The same is true of all the other favoured groups.
The reason is simple. It’s to stir up popular resentment against those groups so that they can be slapped down hard later on, strict State controls put in place, and nobody will object.
They aren’t being picked on, after all, they are the ones who started it. Didn’t they? As for those other 194 religions, well, they aren’t the majority religion, so hardly anyone is affected when you look at them individually. Besides, any of them might be the next one to cause trouble. The government is just taking care of your future.
Then you have a State religion which everyone must join. Just like in the old Inquisition days. Attend church, listen to the sermon, absorb the indoctrination which comes not from any God but from the State itself. The Word of God is a lot harder to deny than the word of a politician, isn’t it?
I’m not cheering Angola just yet. I’m waiting to see what happens next.