WORLD WATCH LIST

Mozambique

#39

Churches are burnt down, pastors are abducted, and many Christians are killed.

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“You have brought real comfort to this community. It gave them hope. Your help has lifted them up spiritually. You can see it in their faces."

– Pastor Antonio, Mozambique

Country
Profile

Region
Africa
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Population
34,035,000
Christian population
19,184,000
Religions
Christianity
Leader
President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi
Score
68

What’s Life Like For Christians?

Christians in Mozambique face many challenges that significantly endanger their freedom and well-being. Though the level of extremist violence did go slightly down during this reporting period, the level of fear among Christians is on the rise due to the increasing influence of the Islamist group al-Sunnah wa Jama’ah (ASWJ), particularly in the northern regions of Mozambique.

The rise of Islamic extremism in the north of the country, especially in regions like Cabo Delgado, has had a devastating impact on the lives of believers. Churches have been burnt down, pastors abducted, and many killed. The objective of these groups is to establish a strict Islamic state, and Christians are often targeted as symbols of resistance to this extremist ideology.

In addition, Christians are often caught in the crossfire of the ongoing conflict between government forces and jihadist groups, making them even more vulnerable to violence and displacement.  

Mozambique has also become a major hub for drug trafficking, with the presence of cartels contributing to a climate of lawlessness and violence, which indirectly affects the Christian community. Church youth workers are particularly at risk, as they are often seen as threats to the cartels.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christians are most vulnerable in the northern Cabo Delgado province, where Islamic extremists are active.

The rising threat of Islamic extremism in Mozambique has made Christian women and girls acutely vulnerable to abduction, sexual violence, forced marriage and domestic slavery.

Mozambique also has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 53% of girls being married before the age of 18. This is often fuelled by low education and employment opportunities for women and girls.

PRAY FOR MOZAMBIQUE

– For courage for Christians living under the threat of attacks by Islamic extremists.

– That Christians facing pressure for their faith will hold onto Jesus.

– For wisdom for Open Doors partners as they encourage and strengthen the church.

What Does Open Doors Do To Help?

Open Doors supports persecuted Christians in northern Mozambique by providing emergency aid, persecution survival training, and economic empowerment projects.

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