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The government also viewed religion as an instrument of colonialism because of the Roman Catholic Church's close association with the Portuguese.
Furthermore, because membership in the party was the road to influence, party leaders and many of the cadres were likely to have no formal religious commitment, or at any rate to deny having one (even though most of Angola's leaders in the 1980s were educated at Catholic, Baptist, Methodist or Congregational mission schools).
Although Roman Catholic missions were largely staffed by non-Portuguese during the colonial era, the relevant statutes and accords provided that foreign missionaries could be admitted only with the approval of the Portuguese government and the Vatican and on condition that they be integrated with the Portuguese missionary organization.
Foreign Roman Catholic missionaries were required to renounce the laws of their own country, submit to Portuguese law, and furnish proof of their ability to speak and write the Portuguese language correctly.
The outcome of the conflict had repercussions for Protestant churches as well as for the Roman Catholic Church.
In essence, the government made it clear that religious institutions were to adhere to government and party rulings regarding non-religious issues.
One exception was the “Igreja de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo no Mundo” (Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the World), an independent Christian sect founded in 1949 by Simão Toko (also spelled Simão Toco) (see above).
They also objected to the government's systematic atheistic propaganda and its silencing of the church's radio station in 1976.
Nonetheless, the government acknowledged the prevalence of religion in Angolan societies and officially recognized the equality of all religions, tolerating religious practices as long as the churches restricted themselves to spiritual matters.