Minister urges prayer and support for Northern Mozambique

Rev Dr Leslie Milton, who spent many years as a Church of Scotland Mission Partner in Mozambique is urging church members to pray for all those affected by terrorist violence there, while at the same time battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Milton, who speaks fluent Portuguese and keeps regular contact with church partners in Mozambique has been alarmed by the deteriorating situation in a country he knows and loves.

People fetching water from a water pump in Metuge, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, December 2020. © UNICEF/ Mauricio Bisol
People fetching water from a water pump in Metuge, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique. © UNICEF/ Mauricio Bisol.

Rev Dr Leslie Milton writes

"The Church of Scotland's partner, the Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique, has been simultaneously affected by the coronavirus pandemic and a surge in terrorist violence in the country's northernmost province, Cabo Delgado. This unrest has brought fear and mourning to the whole country, which has for a long time enjoyed a relatively settled period.

"Forces associated with ISIS have launched attacks in a number of districts, with the destruction of property and the killing of civilians. Children as young as 11 years old have been beheaded. The unrest has led to a large number of people being displaced from their homes.

"The conflict has worsened the already existing problems of hunger and health care associated with Covid. The need to defend Cabo Delgado from further attacks has led to the mobilisation of troops in the area, and the situation continues to be very volatile.

"The Evangelical Church of Christ has a number of congregations in Cabo Delgado. Churches in the areas of Mozambique which have not been affected by the attacks have been restricted in their response since they are not meeting for their regular services because of the pandemic.

"Nonetheless, congregations have organised collections of money, food and clothing. In cooperation with the civil authorities donations are distributed through local congregations.

"Rev. Dinis Joao, the Church's general secretary, wishes to raise awareness in Scotland of what is happening in his country, so that we may pray for Mozambique. He is thankful that as yet no church members have been numbered among the fatalities, and is seeking ways of being in solidarity with all whose lives are being devastated by the situation."

Find out more about the situation in Mozambique from the United Nations