The Evangelical Reformed Church of Angola (IERA) was founded in 1925 in Uige Province (in the north) by missionaries from England and Switzerland. During the war of liberation (1961-75) the church suffered severe persecution at the hands of the Portuguese, its properties were destroyed and many members went into hiding or fled to neighbouring countries. After independence the parishes were gradually reconstituted and the church began to live and work again. In this same period the IERA and other churches founded the Council of Evangelical Churches in Angola and the IERA became a member of the United Emmanuel Seminary in Huambo, which will become the Protestant University of Angola. The church also created its own biblical institute. The pastoral ministry of the IERA is open to women. There are currently five women pastors. Women are also present in the executive committee of the church, some of them as elected members, some representing the women's organization.