When the Marxist-leaning MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) came to power in Angola in 1975, its first president vowed to eradicate Christianity from his country within 20 years. In the following years thousands of Christians were abducted and killed. Church buildings were closed, seized or deliberately destroyed. On some occasions whole congregations were massacred by government troops. Police rallies and sport events were often held on Sundays, and what little food and clothing was available was sold on Sunday mornings - measures intended to prevent Christians from going to church.
In recent years the percentage of Muslims has grown from virtually none in the 1990s to an estimated 2.5% now, and Muslim organisations are actively seeking to make converts, offering food, medical assistance or free education to impoverished Christians if they convert to Islam. These are strong incentives in a country that is still struggling with the results of four decades of continuous warfare, which ended only in 2002 and left much of the country in ruins. Muslim extremism is also on the rise. In July 2008 Islamists attacked the Christian community in the town of Andulo, and beheaded the school-age daughter of one of the deacons. The mob also burned three church buildings.