Displaying items by tag: Mozambique
Kidnapping Christians is a tactic frequently used by the jihadists who have been waging an insurgency in Mozambique since 2017. The UN said at least 2,600 people have been killed and more than 700,000 made homeless. Even nuns have been taken hostage. Reports emerge of a Christian man in Mozambique who risked his life by refusing to convert to Islam after extremists seized him and held him captive in the bush. Father Kwiriwi Fonseca said, ‘We met a Christian who was asked “Do you want to stay here and become Muslim, or do you want to go home?” It is risky as some people who say they want to go home are slaughtered on the spot. He thought he would be killed but he said it is better to go home. The men decided he could go home; it is very mysterious.’
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said they will continue to work around the clock assisting thousands of people evacuated from the shores of Palma after violent attacks by insurgents. At the seaport of Pemba MSF teams have been assisting refugees who are scared, traumatised, hungry and desperate. Project director Luiz Guimaraes said, ‘We have three mobile clinics around Pemba city. We provide for 400 to 450 consultations per day.’ He said that out of fear people fled, walking long distances on foot without food and shelter. Teams are also assisting with water and sanitation, as people need clean water to drink. ‘In this situation, they drink dirty water, and they have a lot of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens.’ He said that they had also implemented mental health services to help people cope with their traumatic experiences. Pray for God’s peace to comfort the refugees.
IS has taken a firm grip on territory in Mozambique, far from its original strongholds in Syria. Even though it is losing territory in most other places, it has killed and kidnapped thousands in the country since 2017. Sphiwe, a Christian worker with Trans World Radio, says, ‘They behead people, they attack homes and villages. People live in fear. It causes displacement, as people move away to protect themselves.’ Many fear the next attack so much they avoid working in the fields. Christian broadcasting continues in troubled areas and also provides support for refugees. Sphiwe says, ‘It is emotionally draining. Sometimes they are adopted or taken in with other families, so that one family may end up having fifty people within one home because they are trying to help out.’ Pray for those fleeing from trauma in Mozambique to find hope and life in Jesus.
In Cabo Delgado, most Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have lost access to their basic livelihoods due to years of conflict. Neighbouring areas that were previously classified as ‘stressed’ now face ‘crisis’ situations due to a rapid increase in IDPs. Conflict and even more IDPs has made many areas inaccessible for those distributing humanitarian aid. They are in ‘crisis’ situations. Some of the most affected families who have lost their homes and livelihoods face difficulty escaping to safe areas, and will face even worsening famine. Families in drought areas are consuming wild foods due to low income and exhausted food stocks. Unfortunately, poorly distributed rainfall through December limited planting in southern Mozambique. Please pray that food security will begin to improve in April 2021 with the start of the harvest. Pray also for the poorest households recovering from Cyclone Idai but contending with worsening economic shock due to Covid-19.
Suspected IS-aligned militants herded dozens of fleeing victims to soccer fields to execute them and abducted others, in weekend raids in Mozambique. The commander of the police force said extremists carried out attacks on several villages in the Cabo Delgado province. They beheaded over fifty people, abducted women and children and burnt down homes. Then they went after those who had fled to the woods and continued their macabre actions. The BBC, and privately-owned Pinnacle News, reported that villagers in Mautide who tried to run were taken to the field and chopped to pieces. Police learned of the massacre committed by the insurgents through reports of people who found corpses in the woods The oil-rich Cabo Delgado province has seen a rise of terror attacks since 2017 by ASWJ militants who have officially pledged allegiance to IS Central Africa Province.
Elisa arrived home just in time to see Islamists murder her father and her husband, who was a pastor. Her uncle had already been beheaded. Grief-stricken and fearing for their lives, Elisa and 18 family members joined 200,000 others fleeing the Islamists’ advance. This year the insurgents, who have been active in northern Mozambique for three years, have pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). The thousands displaced by the repeated, devastating attacks have fled to other parts of the country where conditions are crowded and resources are stretched. Front-line workers have reported burnt and destroyed churches, schools, clinics and police stations. As Christian workers provide comfort and food to the displaced, they are also offering Bibles to give hurting people the hope of Jesus Christ. Pray for an end to the ongoing violence. Pray also that the many enduring this trauma will gain hope and eternal life through faith in Christ.
On 23 July the Catholic bishop of Pemba spoke out deploring the world’s indifference to escalating extremist violence in northern Mozambique, where multiple churches have been burnt, people beheaded, young girls kidnapped, and over 200,000 people displaced by the violent insurgency. Parliamentarian Paulo Rangel said. There are reports of insurgents beheading fifteen people in a week. Pray for the Church as it works with families who have suffered attacks and have lost everything. Also there is coronavirus in nine out of Mozambique’s ten provinces. Pray for organisations focusing on preventing contagion by disseminating information and raising awareness. Pray for those distributing essential aid to meet families’ immediate needs, including food, seeds, and hygiene kits. See https://www.actionaid.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/mozambique
For the first time in recorded history, Mozambique has been hit by two cyclones in one season. Category 4 Kenneth arrived six weeks after Idai killed 600+ people with flooding. Kenneth killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes across northern Mozambique. Ibo Island was particularly hard hit, receiving food aid only six days after Kenneth destroyed thousands of homes. The human cost of the disaster is only now being revealed. The UN described reaching Ibo as ‘incredibly difficult’. Initial estimates are that 90% of structures were damaged. ‘If somebody hasn’t lost everything, he’s a lucky guy because no-one has escaped,’ said a motorcycle taxi driver. Almost everybody lost their belongings. The World Food Programme said that Kenneth dumped twice as much rain as Idai, nine inches, or about a quarter of the average annual rainfall for the region - again raising concerns about climate change. See
On 3 April the World Food Programme (WFP) began deploying two Sherps, all-terrain amphibious vehicles with a capacity of 1,000 kilos of cargo, in Mozambique, delivering food aid to areas unreachable by other means. It said that by 8 April it had reached 717,000 people with aid assistance, out of the 1.8 million Mozambicans affected by Cyclone Idai. The WFP intends to assist 1.7 million who need emergency food assistance. Many have lost everything: homes, belongings, crops and livelihoods. Needs assessments will determine who to prioritise. The BBC World Service radio reported on 22 April that aid is also now being delivered to inaccessible places by drones. Please continue to pray for the thousands of desperate families in remote locations, still existing solely on the provision of aid from abroad.
Before Cyclone Idai devastated 1.7 million lives, Mozambique was known as the ‘Land of Smiles’. Now there is no electricity, no running water, homelessness, cholera and many still awaiting aid. But the greatest tragedy is that many of these souls were unprepared to face eternity that day. In fact, many in Mozambique have yet to even be reached with the Gospel of Jesus. In recent years spiritual responsiveness has increased, and many are turning to Jesus. But the urgency remains. Rampant disease, natural disasters, and widespread poverty were there before Idai. The time for people to hear about Jesus is now. Pray for true freedom for those in bondage to poverty, disease, witchcraft, and animism. Pray for the Church in Mozambique and neighbouring nations, for its leaders to grow in spiritual maturity and Biblical understanding. It is believed that 40% of the world’s unmined rubies are in this poverty-stricken country. Pray for honest investment into underdeveloped resources to strengthen the fragile economy.