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Mozambique: ‘Hunger, thirst and disease’ a threat to Christians amid jihadist attacks

Christians, mostly Roman Catholics, constitute 59% of Mozambique’s population; Muslims comprise 19%. However, the Islamic State (ISIS) has begun to step up operations in the country’s gas-rich northeast, where the Muslim population is largely concentrated.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in Mozambique, see here.

“‘Hunger, thirst and disease’ a threat to Christians amid in Mozambique [sic] jihadist attacks,” by Lydia Davies, Premier Christian News, March 1, 2024:

Mozambique is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis as jihadist attacks in the north displace thousands of Christians and Muslims.

The conflict has already displaced over 1 million people and claimed close to 5,000 lives, according to the latest figures.

Bishop António Juliasse of Mozambique fears the situation will continue to deteriorate, with “hunger, thirst, and disease” posing imminent threats to the displaced population.

The bishop, speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), painted a grim picture of the situation. Militant groups affiliated with ISIS have raided over twelve densely populated villages so far, forcing residents to flee to cities in search of safety.

“They are fleeing from villages that have been reduced to ashes,” he said. “They carry only what they can, in a bundle on their heads, or on the family bicycle – that’s all they have left.”

Fear of future attacks drives even those whose villages haven’t been targeted to flee. “Those whose villages might be next in line are also running,” the bishop added.

He urged the world not to “forget the forgotten faces” suffering in Mozambique and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The Catholic Church itself has been actively providing aid to the displaced, offering counselling, shelter, and other forms of support.

Christians are a minority in northern Mozambique, but both Christian and Muslim communities have historically coexisted peacefully. However, the recent insurgency has seen an increase in attacks targeting Christian communities and institutions….

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