Is this an image of a destroyed mosque in Angola? Has Angola banned Islam in the country? Know the Truth

International Misleading

An image of a destroyed mosque has resurfaced again on social media. In the image, it can be seen that a mosque is lying in ruins. It is claimed that the mosque was destroyed in Angola after the government decided to ban Islam in the country. 

However, Fact Crescendo found the claim to be misleading. This message keeps resurfacing on social media from time to time for the last decade. 

What’s The Claim? 

Sharing the image, social media users are claiming that this mosque was destroyed after the Angola government decided to ban Islam in the country.

One user tweeted “Islam was banned in Angola; all the mosques were demolished. It was published in detail in an African newspaper last year. Angola became the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims. Angola’s Minister of Culture has said that the Law and Human Rights Ministry does not legally recognize Islam as a religion in the country.”


Fact Check – 

At first, we wanted to know where this post originated from. We found that similar posts were viral on social media multiple times over the last few years. A Facebook user in 2013, shared this same image and wrote, “Is this the beginning? Angola has officially banned Islam and shut down mosques.”

Another image with the same claim was also posted on social media in 2015. 

A Google reverse image search led us to the same image uploaded tothe Getty Images website on 11 January 2009. According to the information, this image is from Gaza in Palestine. The mosque in the picture is the al-Fadilah mosque after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestine in 2009.

The same image was also published in a report by Reuters in which politician George Galloway was standing next to the demolished structure. George Galloway visited the al-Fadelah Islamic school destroyed during Israel’s 22-day attack on Rafah in 2009

From the above facts, it is clear that the image of the destroyed Islamic school is from Rafah, Palestine, and not from Angola. 

Has Angola banned Islam in the country?

According to a report by Nation Africa in 2013, after speculation of a ban on Islam, Angola government denied these claims and said that the government had not banned Islam or closed mosques in the country. It further clarified that a few mosques were closed due to land issues, unavailability  of building licenses, or other official documents. 

In 2013, India Today reported that the rumors of a ban on Islam in Angola were initiated after the Angolan Cultural Minister had made a statement that Islam had not gone through the necessary registration process mandatory in the country. Thus, the Angolan government started demolishing all the religious centers which were built without proper documentation, planning, procedures, etc. 

A report on International Religious Freedom in Angola was published in 2020 by the U.S. Department of State. The report states that the Angolan constitution defines the state as secular, prohibits religious discrimination and provides for freedom of conscience, religion, and worship. There were 81 recognized religious groups and more than 1,100 unrecognized religious groups. The government has not recognized any new religious groups since 2004. In March, the government detained more than two dozen religious leaders and worshippers in several towns for violating a ban prohibiting all large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders of the Islamic community protested against the COVID-19 measures. 

After this, we searched for various mosques in Angola with the help of Google Maps. We found images of people worshipping and holding a gathering in different mosques in Luanda, the capital city of Angola. We found an image from 2015 where people gathered in Mesquita Central de Maianga mosque in Luanda. In 2019, people were seen worshipping in Talatona Mosque. In 2020, a gathering of people was also seen inMosque Hojenda

Below you can see the respective images. 


Fact Crescendo found the claim to be false. The image of the destroyed building is from Rafah, Palestine, after Israel attack. Also, Angola has not banned Islam in the country. Government report revealed that Angola is still a secular nation. The ban on Islam speculation started getting viral on social media after Minister of Culture’s statement saying that Islam had not gone through necessary registration process mandatory in the country.


Title:Is this an image of a destroyed mosque in Angola? Has Angola banned Islam in the country? Know the Truth

Fact Check By: Siddharth Sahu 

Result: Misleading