Report: Catholics in Mozambique Reveal Extent of Violence and Murders for Professing Their Christian Faith By Muslims

Report: Catholics in Mozambique Reveal Extent of Violence and Murders for Professing Their Christian Faith By Muslims

Sr. Maria De Coppi was murdered by Muslims for her Christian faith. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic parishioners in Mozambique recently shared their stories of the violence and murders that have been perpetrated against them by Muslims for daring to profess their Christian faith.

Catholics of Chipene in Nampulam, a province in northern Mozambique, told ACI Africa they spoke with a delegation of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) with disturbing details about how deadly the ongoing insurgency by militant Islamists in the region is for Christians.

They shared details of the murder of Sr. Maria De Coppi, an 84-year-old Italian Comboni missionary sister who served malnourished and orphaned children there almost 60 years after she was reportedly shot dead by insurgents who attacked the Comboni Mission of Chipene in Mozambique’s Nacala Diocese.

After Sr. Maria’s murder, the terrorists then went on to vandalize the church and set fire to the sisters‘ house and the priests’ house. They then set fire to the house where Sr. Maria cared for orphaned and malnourished children.

As insurgents passed through Nantaca, they asked Silvano Valentim about his religion, to which he proudly affirmed his Christianity. He was told by the terrorists to sit down, and he was beheaded, according to the parishioners who spoke with ACI Africa.

When the Islamists moved to Tataulo, they forced locals to separate into groups of men and women, as well as Muslims and Christians.

When the Islamists arrived in Tataulo, they asked the locals to separate into groups of men and women, as well as Muslims and Christians.

A parishioner recounted, “When the first three Christians bravely came forward, they were tied up and beheaded.”

“While they were killing the first, named Francisco Rimo, baptized and married in the Church with nine children, they put the book of the liturgy (Masu Apwiya) on his chest. The second, known as Celestino Santos Mitupiya, was baptized, married in a church, father of seven children, and a catechist, and had the Bible placed on his chest. The third, named Silva António, was a catechumen and father of two children, who were given the catechism of the third stage,” the parishioners recounted.

ACI Africa reports:

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.

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“Since these men and others who we have previously mentioned were killed in hatred of the faith, we believe that they are our martyrs who did not refuse to bear witness to their faith and courageously gave their lives,” read the statement that a parishioner read to the Bishops who visited that Catholic community on June 2.

You can read the full troubling report here.

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Author: Margaret Flavin