An Anglican bishop has made an emergency call to Sydney’s Anglican Aid as a jihadist insurgency, linked to Islamic State, has brought terror to northern Mozambique. 

In an appeal, Bishop Vicente Msosa cites the one million people displaced by the insurgency, which has erupted in new violence – especially towards Christians.

“The situation is heartbreaking,” he says. “From January this year… they went into villages in Mocímboa da Praia district, killing people, burning houses and market stalls.” 

Bishop Vincente leads the Diocese of Zambezia, where those fleeing the violence in Cabo Delgado have sought help.

The January attacks appear to be part of Islamic State’s global campaign against “infidels” with the slogan: “Kill them wherever you find them”.

The southeast African nation has a large Christian population, although there are Muslim-controlled areas in the north. The Cabo Delgado region is already known as “the land of fear” because of repeated Islamist terror attacks targeting Christians since 2017.

Terrorists are trying to gather more members but, according to the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, they are failing to recruit young people. 

“This is partly due to the greater awareness of communities, which are also now on alert,” President Nyusi told a local news agency. “As a result, terrorists are moving away to other districts as a way of surprising young people. That’s one of the reasons for the current terrorist attacks”. But still, infrastructure such as schools and churches have been destroyed. 

The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that more than 60 per cent of displaced people in Cabo Delgado are children. It says many of the displaced women are pregnant, and there  are also people with disabilities and the elderly. 

“The humanitarian need is a huge challenge,” Bishop Vicente said in his appeal. “In December, we shared 100 bags of flour and rice to the displaced. We couldn’t cater [for] every family due to limited resources. January to April are the most difficult months for the displaced.”

You can donate to the emergency fund here