Mozambique Bishop Relocated After Receiving Death Threats

03/07/2021 Mozambique (International Christian Concern) – On February 11th, Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa was transferred to his native Brazil from the Mozambique Diocese of Pemba he had overseen for eight years.

Tablet reporter Filipe Avillez stated that the Bishop was “transferred out of the country after receiving death threats during the past years of his ministry…the Vatican announced his transfer…at the same time raising him to the rank of archbishop ‘ad personam.’”

When asked if the reason for his move was due to threats, Lisboa told Avillez: “It could be. I recognize the delicate situation and the Holy Father, after looking at the big picture in Mozambique, thought it best to transfer me. We are not naive, and I think this could have helped him reach that decision.”

Lisboa also insisted that he had not asked to be moved from the country: “I received some messages, through other people, saying I should be careful, that sort of thing. But when we are sure that we are doing the right thing we cannot let ourselves be intimidated.” 

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) reports that in the past three years there have been 776 “organized violence events”, 2,578 “fatalities from organized violence” and 1,305 “fatalities from civilian targeting” in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province alone. Pemba, the place where Bishop Lisboa has served for the past eight years, is the capital of the Cabo Delgado province. Especially in the country’s northern region, believers are killed in staggering numbers at the hands of extremists, while thousands of others are kidnapped or forced to flee.

The violence experienced in Mozambique has caused Open Doors to include the country for the first time in 2021 as one of the worst countries in the world to be a Christian.

We ask that you join us in praying for the Lord to bring peace to Mozambique, to strengthen the governments protection over its people, and to heal the trauma that thousands have had to endure. We also ask that you pray for the welfare of Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa as he continues the Lord’s work in Brazil, as well as for the safety of Pemba’s next Bishop.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia at press@persecution.org

ICC is on a mission to help persecuted Christians. Will you join us?