Dear family in Christ,
This morning we received the horrible news of a vicious attack on our family in northern Mozambique by IS militants. We are writing to ask for your urgent prayers.
According to reports, militants arrived in Naquitenge, a village in Mocímboa da Praia district, on 14 September. “When they got there, they called a meeting,” a source who lost his nephew in the attack, told the Portuguese news agency Lusa. “The people of the village did not know that they were terrorists, and after that, they began to separate Christians from Muslims, based on their names. After that, they opened fire on the Christians,” he said.
While some reports mention eleven people were killed, an Open Doors field worker said twelve Christians lost their lives in the attack. Five Christian women were tied up, locked inside a house that was set alight. All the women died. Seven other Christians were shot and died immediately while several people were injured. Others fled into the woods.
Islamic State is said to have claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamist extremist group Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama’ah has waged an insurgency in Mozambique’s resource rich northern province of Cabo Delgado since 2017.
The situation on the ground
Fighting between the group and Mozambique’s armed forces has claimed thousands of lives and forced one million people from their homes. At least 2 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian aid.
Christians have faced killings, kidnappings and the destruction of churches and their properties. The country rose on this year’s Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, from 41 (2022) to 32 (2023).
Please pray with us today:
We are all deeply saddened about the loss and pain our family of faith must endure. We are asking for the prayers and support of the Southern African Church. In prayer this morning, our team was reminded about God’s promise that He will never leave us, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And when Daniel’s friends were in the fiery furnace, God was with them.
“But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Dan. 3:25
- Pray for our Church family who have lost their families, to have courage and resilience
- Pray that the Mozambican government has the will to bring an end to this conflict that plagues the Church in the north of the country.
- Pray that God will have mercy on the Church in Cabo Delgado and that the local Muslim population will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your fervent prayers.