How many Christians are there in Mozambique?
Over half of the population of Mozambique are Christians – 18 million of the 33.2 million people living there.
How are Christians persecuted in Mozambique?
Islamic extremism is on the increase in Mozambique – particularly in the north of the country where so-called Islamic State-affiliated extremists use violence to spread their influence and control. Attacks by Islamic militants have claimed the lives of many believers.
The brutality of these groups has only increased. Churches have been burned and tens of thousands of people displaced. Christians who manage to escape the violence often lose their livelihoods and possessions. The presence of drug cartels in some areas is making the lives of Christians very difficult, especially church youth workers.
Christian women and girls in Mozambique face the possibility of sexual harassment, rape and forced marriage to Islamic militants. Muslim families who suspect a woman has converted to Christianity may attempt to force her to marry a Muslim man so that she can't get involved in church activities. Abduction is increasingly used as a tool for violating religious freedom, and abducted Christian women often face forced labour and/or forced marriage.
“The attackers took my sisters and some other women. I do not know if they are alive or dead.” Furaia, whose husband was killed for his faith
What’s life like for Christians in Mozambique?
Furaia* knows first-hand how brutal jihadist attacks in Mozambique have become. She had to watch as they seized and killed her husband.
“The attackers rounded us up,” says Furaia. “I managed to hide in some of the tall grass. They did not see me, but I watched everything that was happening. I saw them tie up my husband. They cut his throat. I saw them kill my brother and some other men in the same way.”
It wasn’t just the men of Furaia’s Christian community who were targeted, though. “They finally left, taking with them my sisters and some other women,” adds Furaia. “I have not heard from any of them since. I do not know if they are alive or dead.”
Furaia now needs to care for her 14 children without her husband – but, thanks to Open Doors supporters, she isn’t alone. Open Doors partners are providing food and other essentials. It could not have come at a better time.
“I thank God for the help that arrived,” says Furaia. “My children and I now have something to eat. Without this help we would have starved. I am very, very thankful for all the things I received. To the donors, I would like to say thank you and God bless you.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Mozambique?
Yes. Mozambique only entered the World Watch List Top 50 last year, at number 41, and has risen several places this year. This is largely because of an increased number of attacks and pressure, particularly in the north. An Islamic State-affiliated group is seeking to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Mozambique. They have burned churches and religious schools, and tens of thousands of people have fled from the northern part of the country.
How can I help Christians in Mozambique?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Mozambique. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors partners support persecuted Christians in Mozambique through emergency aid, persecution survival training and economic empowerment projects.
Heavenly Father, pour Your healing into all those affected by persecution in Mozambique. Give them fresh hope. Protect and provide for Christians who’ve been forced to flee violence. Intervene to diminish the rising threat of Islamic extremists and drug cartels, and enable believers to return to their homes and live safely. Equip the security forces to decisively deal with criminality. Powerfully encourage our family in Mozambique. May they see Your hand at work in their lives and country. Amen.