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Mozambique: Locals Tell Stories of Christians Killed for their Faith: ‘They are our martyrs’

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.

“Locals in Mozambique Tell Stories of Christians Killed for their Faith: ‘They are our martyrs,’” by João Vissesse, ACI Africa, June 8, 2024:
Parishioners of Chipene in Nampula, a province that is experiencing insurgency in northern Mozambique have recounted stories of members of the parish and other Christians in the province who were killed by Islamists for refusing to denounce their faith.

Speaking with Bishops in Mozambique who visited that parish that has been experiencing insurgency that started in neighboring Cabo Delgado province in 2018, the parishioners who did not give their names for security reasons said Christians in Mozambique have undergone horrible persecution, and that those killed are the country’s martyrs.

They recounted the murder of Sr. Maria De Coppi, an Italian Comboni missionary sister, a Catechist at the parish, and several Christians who they described as “witnesses” to the faith.

Among those killed was Francisco Massaya who met his death at the foot of the chapel, a man named Silvano Valentim who courageously confessed that he was a Christian before he was beheaded, and another named Celestino Santos Mitupiya who was a Catechist….

They are said to have arrived in Tataulo, a different community, where  they met the locals and asked the people present to divide themselves into groups of men and women as well as Christians and Muslims.

“When the first three Christians bravely came forward, they were tied up and beheaded,” read the parishioners’ statement….

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