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03/30/2021 Mozambique (International Christian Concern) – According to a Guardian report, Mozambique military forces are working to regain control of the city of Palma, six days after ISIS affiliated insurgents ambushed the city, killing at least dozens and forcing thousands to flee.   

“Local police and soldiers were reported to have secured control of most of Palma on Monday, after hundreds of Islamist insurgents who overran the small port last week withdrew to surrounding forests and fields leaving a trail of devastation,” reported the news agency.

According to AP news, “More than 55 people, including Mozambican army troops, Christians and foreigners were killed,” adding that beheaded bodies were left “strewn in the streets”. 

Over the past three years, an insurgency has been rising in Northern Mozambique which has left over 2,500 people dead and 700,000 forced to flee for safety. The government responded slowly to the growing threat and allowed the rebel group, locally known as al-Shabab, though not affiliated with the Somali group, to gain a foothold in the region.

In a video last year, one al-Shabab leader spoke about Islam and his desire for an “Islamic government, not a government of unbelievers”.

“Observers say the evolution of the insurgency in Mozambique is remarkably similar to Boko Haram’s emergence in northern Nigeria”, wrote BBC News, “with a marginalized group exploiting local grievances, terrorizing many communities, but also offering an alternative path for unemployed youths frustrated by a corrupt, neglectful and heavy-handed state.” 

2021 was the first year that Open Doors listed Mozambique 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 perpetrators of this attack, that they will be blessed with knowing the truth of the gospel and accept Jesus as their savior.

 

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