World Buleltin / News Desk
The number of individuals choosing Islam in the west African country of Guinea-Bissau is on the rise and half of the country's population is comprised of Muslims. Various religious organizations work in Guinea-Bissau to give details on Islam and they prepare the appropriate atmosphere so that new Muslims can adopt to Islam.
In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA), Deputy Manager of the African Muslims Committee, Ahmad Abdullah stressed that religious figures' introduction of Islam, co-existence with Muslims and being impressed by the lives of Muslims lead individuals to choose Islam as their faith.
Only last year, 3,000 individuals from many villages chose Islam, Abdullah noted.
"Poverty and ignorance is high among the new members of Islam in Guinea-Bissau. We need organizations that could teach Islam to such individuals and teach how to read the Holy Quran and Arabic to their children," Abdullah stated.
Efforts made by Islamic organizations to encourage individuals to become Muslims are not much sufficient compared to the activities of missionaries who have been in the region for the past five decades.
"Missionary establishments allocate great funds for scholarships to students, and to the construction of educational organizations and hospitals. They allocate sources for projects in the fields of education, health and social life," Abdullah noted.
In the past several years, many dignitaries of Guinea-Bissau have chosen Islam, including former President Kumba Yala and his adviser Edmond Ivora, Abdullah underlined.
With an area of 36,000 square kilometers and a population of around 1.5 million people, Guinea-Bissau is one of the smallest countries of Africa.
Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony. The country gained its independence in 1974.
Since 1974, Guinea-Bissau has been a land of military coups and political turbulence. It is a country known for the biggest illegal drugs trade in western Africa.