Killings and Violence in Northern Mozambique within a Context of Religion: Muslim and Christian (2017–2018)




Contemporary Christianity, persecuted Christians, violence, culture of fear, religious extremists, al Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamo/Ansar al-Sunna, Al Shabaab


The killings and beheadings of people in northern Mozambique continue to pose a serious challenge to Christians, Muslims and the economy in the region. From October 2017, over 200 people have been killed by an Islamic terrorist group, which many know as “Mozambican Al Shabaab”; possibly linked to the original terrorist organisation. The growing violent actions result from various conditions both in Tanzania and in northern Mozambique. By addressing these conditions, this article highlights the role played by religion related to the violence in northern Mozambique. It deals with the historical background of the growing violence and explores who is behind the Mozambican Islamic extremists. Additionally, the article also studies the violence as directly affecting Christian populations, as well as Muslims who do not support the Mozambican Al Shabaab activities. The main questions are: What are the characteristics of the people of northern Mozambique? Who is behind the killings? Why are they doing it? And, what is the impact of this violence on Christianity in the region?


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Author Biography

Fernando Caldeira da Silva, University of South Africa

Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa

Deputy-director Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)

Director of International Institute of Religious Freedom (IIRF) for the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP)




How to Cite

da Silva, Fernando Caldeira. 2020. “Killings and Violence in Northern Mozambique Within a Context of Religion: Muslim and Christian (2017–2018)”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 46 (3):15 pages .



Received 2019-02-07
Accepted 2020-05-28
Published 2020-12-24