Dear prayer partners,

On Sunday 28 March, thousands of people were evacuated from Mozambique’s northern town of Palma to the provincial capital Pemba after it was violently overrun by armed insurgents. Dozens of people are feared dead, and many remain unaccounted for, according to a spokesperson from the Mozambique’s defence department. The initial attack began on Wednesday 24 March after the French Total company (currently involved in a massive natural gas project worth billions of dollars) announced it would gradually resume work at the site after suspending it because of regional attacks. Information from the area is limited as communications were cut. There have been reports of violent attacks by as many as one hundred armed insurgents. Over 1,400 people were reportedly rescued by cargo vessels, passenger ships, tugs, and recreational boats. Palma is home to over 75,000 people, and it is unclear how many of these have died or been displaced, the situation remains fluid as Mozambican forces try to reclaim Palma.

The insurgency began in October 2017 and has affected many districts in the resource-rich northern province of Cabo Delgado. Various groups have carried out more than 831 attacks since 2017. Fighting between the groups and government forces have left more than 2,658 dead (over half of whom are said to be civilians). The ongoing fighting has also resulted in the displacement of about 700,000 people, with thousands in need of emergency assistance. A significant shortage of supplies has also resulted in a dramatic increase in prices, which makes it difficult for the population to meet their daily needs.

The Church in Mozambique needs much prayer and support as it aims to assist those who are traumatised and displaced. They also need a lot of wisdom in dealing with the security challenges in these northern areas. Suffering people often need others to have faith and hope for them when they have lost all hope. May the Church receive the strength to enter into the suffering of the displaced and provide this support to them. May they also be encouraged by the words in 1 Peter 4:12-13: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”

Please join with us in praying for Mozambique.

“All the mighty interceding of the ages that has ever shaken the kingdom of darkness has been based upon the promises of God.” (Arthur Wallis)