There have been several situations reported mainly in social networks, which speak to the internal conflict within the World Messianic Church in Angola.
Indeed, a group of dissenting members of the Church who at first referred to themselves as the Salvation Commission, and who now represent themselves as main representatives of our organization, have carried out various actions that threaten and call into question the reputation and image of the Church; even to having evolved to attacks on the physical integrity of members.
Most prominent of these actions was the aggressive invasion of the Bié Training Center on January 13th 2019, largely reported in the media, which resulted in physical assaults, and wounded people.
The Direction of the World Messianic Church in Angola (IMMA ) hereby clarifies to members and the general public information regarding the genesis and evolution of the purification that is currently being carried on.
The problems that sparked the present purification arose within the Church in Japan, involving the then Spiritual Leader (Kyoshu-sama) Mr. Yoichi Okada and the Headquarters of the Mother Church. It is important, first of all, to clarify that “Kyoshu” is not a person but a position (jishoi) existing within the Mother Church.
At the time for lack of knowledge about the real reasons for the conflict, the Directors of the World Messianic Church in Angola – Headquarters of the Church in Africa – sent to the Mother Church a letter stating its position, and appealing for understanding between the parties.
At that time, with the support of the “Su no Hikari” movement (which is no longer part of the World Messianic Church), Kyoshu-sama supported the creation of a dissident movement and championed a line of guidance foreign to the Teachings of the Founder of the World Messianic Church, Meishu-sama.
Due to this major deviation from the doctrine of the World Messianic Church and the Teachings of Meishu-sama, on June 24, 2018, the Mother Church in Japan canceled its investiture of Mr. Yoichi Okada as the Spiritual Leader – Kyoshu-sama.
A sequence of events thereafter occurred in Angola, led by a group of then ministers of the Church, who expressly supported Mr. Yoichi Okada, and on his behalf, carried out the actions listed below in chronological order:
JULY 30, 2018
A group of (until then) ministers (Francisco Xavier Hatewa, António Manuel Muhongo, Francisco Joaquim Caxinda, Beny Jose Faustudo, Carlos dos Santos Alfredo, and Ana Maria da Silva) requested a meeting with the President, Reverend Claudio Pinheiro, for clarifications on the doctrinal situation of the Church and other internal matters, including the resignation request of Min. Cabuço that had occurred on July 27, 2018.
The meeting was held, the questions presented were clarified, but the group of former ministers was not satisfied with the Church’s position to remain united in a state of prayer, and consequently began its criminal practices.
AUGUST 27, 2018
This group of ministers, through a letter, announced that they would henceforth proclaim themselves the “Salvation Commission of the IMMA”, with the following positions:
- President Francisco Xavier Hatewa;
- Vice-President António Manuel Muhongo;
- Assisted by ministers Francisco Joaquim Caxinda, Beny José Faustudo, Carlos dos Santos Alfredo, Flávio dos Santos Cabuço, Ana Maria da Silva, Luyindulâdio Bedy Kiala and the missionary Mário Domingos Correia.
The self-proclaimed Commission began by committing a number of crimes, such as slander and defamation, as they accused the Church’s leadership of deviation of faith, abuse of power, and incitement of division among ministers so as to better keep themselves in power, promotion of fear in the practice of faith, uneven treatment of employees, and mismanagement of financial resources, among other things.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
The following ministers’ ordination titles were withdra António Manuel Muhongo, Francisco Xavier Hatewa, Beny José Faustudo, Francisco Joaquim Caxinda, Carlos dos Santos Alfredo, Ana Maria da Silva, Luyinduladio Eduardo Bedy Quiala, Flávio dos Santos Cabuço and later Alfonso Quifuta Pereira, Geremias Pereira Quifuta, Manuel Francisco da Costa, Aleluia N’donda, Cine Dangereux Ramos Pascual, Nicolau Vicente, Alberto Pereira Quifuta and Domingos Fernando. (However, those mentioned above still to this day present themselves as ministers of the World Messianic Church).
The Commission adopted the slogan “100% Kyoshu-sama” and on behalf of Yoichi Okada:
- They began a campaign to invade the Johrei Centers and refused to hand over the donations to the Church, the rightful owner of such, using threats and aggressionpublished on social networks;
- They began to guide the members to make their monetary donations intopersonal accountsof members of the Commission, rather than Church accounts, also published on Facebook.
OCTOBER 7, 2018
Mr. Michio Shirasawa, the right-hand man of Mr. Yoichi Okada, addressed a letter to the members of the Commission, expressing his deep respect for them, who, in his view, came into contact with the essence of the Teachings of Meishu-sama, expressing his unconditional support for the irregularities committed by the members of the Commission.
The contents of the scope of this letter proved breathtaking; a shocking and negative surprise to the Directors of the Church, a real act of betrayal, since it was obvious that the acts of violence, discrimination and slander triggered by the self-proclaimed Commission ultimately had the blessing of Mr. Shirasawa and, consequently, the blessing of Mr. Yoichi Okada.
The Church felt terribly betrayed, for until then it had been praying that there might be some understanding in Japan. And even though Mr. Yoichi Okada had ceased to occupy the throne of Kyoshu, the Messianic Church in Africa maintained a profound respect for him, so that the practice of Sonen that the reverend Reverend Tetsuo Watanabe formulated from Kyoshu-sama’s messages and his greeting of the New Year had continued to be read daily in all Johrei Centers throughout the African continent.
Following Mr. Michio Shirasawa’s statement, the aggressive nature of this group became evident, with their actions fostering rivalry and violence among members. Thus, it was clear to IMMA that the best path for the organization and for the members would be to remain loyal to the Teachings of Meishu-sama, to continue to be connected to the Sacred Grounds and the World Messianic Church that Meishu-sama had founded.
In the same month of October, the Office of the Church’s headquarters sent a letter to various government institutions, including the INAR (National Religious Affairs Institute) and the General Police Command, reporting the conflict that had taken place within the Church and requesting their intervention for a solution of the situation.
OCTOBER 24, 2018
Acts of occupation of Church worship facilities intensified outside the capital, with, in some cases, police intervention.
In turn, the Church’s Directors communicated about the conflict through letters to competent public institutions, and INAR (National Institute of Religious Affairs) directed the members of the Commission to refrain from any practices on behalf of the Church.
DECEMBER 7, 2018
In spite of the INAR’s guidance, the Commission held what it called the “Extraordinary Conference” and elected new members of the Church’s Direction. With this disguised representation and bogus capacity, they traveled to Japan and were received by Mr. Yoichi Okada.
JANUARY 3, 2019
The newspaper “O País” published a report on the alleged new Directors of the World Messianic Church of Angola, resulting from the meeting of the dissidents held on December 7, 2018. This news was denied by the true Church Directors (IMMA) in the same newspaper, issue of January 21, 2018, since in fact the composition of the Church Directors had remained unchanged.
JANUARY 13, 2019
On behalf of Mr. Yoichi Okada, the Commission attempted to forcefully seize the Bié Training Center, whereupon a conflict ensued, of which 3 people were injured.
OUR CURRENT SITUATION
- The event of January 13, 2019 had wide publicity in social networks and television and received several reactions, mainly several messages of repudiation;
- Legal proceduresfor accountability of offenders are already under way.
- At present, some Johrei Centers and lands for Nature Farming of the Church are under occupation by the followers of Mr. Yoichi Okada;
- Due to all the crimes committed by the followers of Mr. Yoichi Okada (slander and defamation, unlawful exercise of qualified profession, mockery, robbery, abuse of trust, threats, discrimination and corporal offenses), legal procedures, as mentioned above, are taking place to hold accountable those responsible for such actions;
- This whole situation has been reported to the Izunome Kyodan and the Mother Church in Japan and the necessary measures will be applied;
- The Church Directors are awaiting the outcome, which it hopes will be expeditious.
The Church leadership once again expresses its dismay at the negative publicity the Church has been facing and deeply appreciates all who, regardless of such events, stand firm in the Divine Work of salvation of humanity and the Construction of the Paradise on Earth and reiterates its deep and permanent commitment to the implementation of these ideals in Angola.
Luanda, February 3, 2019
Directors of the World Messianic Church in Angola