International Religious Freedom Report Country of Mozambique

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Religious life in Mozambique is diverse and very dynamic [7] and hence the country is considered a magnet for evangelical missionaries, for example the Brazilian Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. As regards the Muslim community, young Islamic preachers study mainly in countries such as Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South Africa before returning to Mozambique with a very strict interpretation of Islam.

Thanks to this involvement, the Church has gained in influence in Mozambique. The elections led to an increase in political tensions in Mozambique and this continued through the reporting period. Church leaders have often criticised corruption, power monopolies and separatist trends. In February , a pastor of the Apostolic Faith Mission was shot by unknown attackers during a church service in Chimoio city.

His widow said the motive for the murder may have been connected with tensions with other Churches. While Mozambican Muslims are regarded as moderate, radical preachers have been gaining followers for several years.

Mozambique, Religion And Social Profile | National Profiles | International Data | TheARDA

Concerns over further violence have been growing since an attack on a police station in northern Mozambique in October The other attackers seized a total of 37 Kalashnikovs. Police said 52 suspects were arrested, all of them Mozambicans.

Countries with a Muslim majority in Africa

They all reportedly refused to make statements about their motives and who was backing their movement. Negotiations are ongoing between the Church and the authorities over the return of Church property seized after Mozambique gained independence. About 60 percent of the assets have already been returned and discussions continue about the rest of them. The government reopened all seven mosques it ordered closed in The Greek Orthodox Church reported no progress in its efforts to regain property the government seized following independence.

Religious leaders at the national and provincial level called for religious tolerance and condemned the use of religion to condone violence. For example, Muslim leaders joined former liberation fighters condemning those who allegedly use religion for illicit and criminal purposes. The Ambassador hosted an iftar at the Anwaril Mosque during which religious tolerance was discussed with members of Islamic civil society organisations and religious leaders.

Embassy representatives discussed the importance of religious tolerance with Catholic Church representatives and Islamic religious leaders in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Sofala, and Nampula. The U. According to the U. Approximately 18 percent do not profess any religion or belief.

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According to Christian and Muslim religious leaders, a significant portion of the population adheres to syncretic indigenous religious beliefs, characterised by a combination of African traditional practices and aspects of either Christianity or Islam, a category not included in government estimates. Muslim leaders state their community accounts for percent of the total population, a statistic frequently reported in the press.

A census conducted in August included questions on religious affiliation.

Religious Freedom Report

The full census results were scheduled to be released in spring The constitution defines the country as a secular state. It prohibits religious discrimination, provides for the right of citizens to practice or not practice a religion, and stipulates that no individuals may be deprived of their rights because of religious faith or practice.

Political parties are constitutionally prohibited from using names or symbols associated with religious groups. The constitution protects places of worship and the right of religious groups to organize, worship, and pursue their religious objectives freely and to acquire assets in pursuit of those objectives. It recognises the right of conscientious objection to military service for religious reasons.

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  • These and other rights may temporarily be suspended or restricted only in the event of a declaration of a state of war, siege, or emergency, in accordance with the terms of the constitution. Religious groups register at the denominational level or congregational level if they are unaffiliated.


    Religious groups and organisations register by submitting an application, providing identity documents of the local leaders, and submitting documentation of declared ties to any international religious group or organisation. There are no penalties for failure to register; however, religious groups and organisations must show evidence of registration to open bank accounts, file for exemption of customs duties for imported goods, or submit visa applications for visiting foreign members.

    The accord also gives the Catholic Church the exclusive right to create, modify, or eliminate ecclesiastical boundaries; however, it stipulates that ecclesiastical territories must report to a Church authority in the country. The law permits religious organisations to own and operate schools. The law forbids religious instruction in public schools.

    The group, which claimed ties to the al-Shabaab terrorist group and was characterised by the government and the media as jihadist, was composed primarily of Muslims who followed what observers said was a strict version of Islam. The attacks, which began in October , included killings of security force members and beheading of civilians.

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    • Several organisations reported men, women, and children being arbitrarily detained based on appearing to be Muslim. The government charged the detainees with crimes including first-degree murder, use of banned weapons, membership in a criminal association, and instigating collective disobedience against public order. The government continued to state publicly that security forces had the situation under control. Among the individuals arrested were Muslim religious leaders.