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09/22/2022 Mozambique (International Christian Concern) – Inacio Saure, the Archbishop of Nampula and President of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique, delivered a speech on Monday, September 19, addressing the rise in jihadist violence in Mozambique.

In the address, Archbishop Saure lamented the death of a nun who was murdered in a recent terror attack. On September 16, a group of ISIS-affiliated militants stormed a Catholic mission compound in the Mozambique of Chipene. The gunmen set fire to the church, the hospital, and the schools there.

While most of the nuns and other inhabitants were able to flee, one sister, an Italian nun named Maria De Coppi, was fatally shot in the head as she ran towards a dormitory where it is believed that students were hiding. She was 83 years old and spent 59 years serving the people of Mozambique.

The archbishop described Maria De Coppi as a martyr of the war against the insurgency in northern Mozambique.

ICC reported previously on the “war on terror” that Mozambique’s central government has been waging since 2017 against the ISIS-affiliated group Al-Shabaab.

A new offensive launched this summer by Mozambique’s Islamic extremist rebels in the war-torn northern province of Cabo Delgado has increased the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the region by 80,000, bringing the total up to more than 800,000.

This undermines the central government’s recent claims that the insurgency had been contained. The rebels have expanded the area under their control during the two-month campaign, which began in June.

Jihadists have moved further south than ever before, burning villages and beheading civilians in Ancuabe, Chiure, and Mecufi districts.

While Mozambique is technically a majority-Christian country, the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where much of the conflict takes place, is a primarily Muslim region. Christianity Today reported that, in this region alone, around 300 Christians had been killed for their faith and over 100 attacks on churches in the area.

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