Mozambique (/moʊzæmˈbiːk/ or /mɔːzæmˈbiːk/), officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, pronounced: [rɛˈpublikɐ dɨ musɐ̃ˈbikɨ]) is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. It is separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. The capital and largest city is Maputo (known as “Lourenço Marques” before independence).
Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from farther north and west. Swahili (and later Arab) commercial ports existed along the coasts until the arrival of Europeans. The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonised by Portugal from 1505. The country changed hands from a Portuguese colony to a Somali colony back to a Portuguese colony, and it was an important place where Somali merchants enslaved the local population, starting what is now known as the Somali slave trade. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People’s Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections and has remained a relatively stable presidential republic. However, since 2013, following more than 20 years of peace, a renewed insurgency by RENAMO has been occurring.
Mozambique is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world. Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country’s economy is based largely on agriculture, but industry is growing, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, and aluminium and petroleum production. The country’s tourism sector is also growing. South Africa is Mozambique’s main trade partner and source of foreign direct investment. Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain are also among the country’s most important economic partners. Since 2001, Mozambique’s annual average GDP growth has been among the world’s highest. However, the country ranks among the lowest in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality, and average life expectancy. 
The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half of the population. Common native languages include Makhuwa, Sena, and Swahili. The country’s population of around 24 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Southern African Development Community, and is an observer at La Francophonie.
The 2007 census asserts that Christians made up 56.1% of Mozambique’s population and Muslims comprised 17.9% of the population. 7.3% of the people held other beliefs, mainly animism, and 18.7% had no religious beliefs.
Since independence from Portugal in 1975, school construction and teacher-training enrolments have not kept up with population increase. Especially after the Mozambican Civil War (1977–1992), with post-war enrolments reaching all-time high due to stability and youth population growth, the quality of education has suffered. All Mozambicans are required by law to attend school through the primary level; however, a lot of children in Mozambique do not go to primary school because they have to work in their families’ subsistence farms for a living. In 2007, one million children still did not go to school, most of them from poor rural families, and almost half of all teachers in Mozambique were still unqualified. Girls’ enrolment increased from 3 million in 2002 to 4.1 million in 2006 while the completion rate increased from 31,000 to 90,000, which signified a very poor completion rate.
After grade 7, pupils must take standardised national exams to enter secondary school, which runs from eighth to 10th grade. Space in Mozambican universities is extremely limited; thus most youth who complete pre-university school do not immediately proceed on to university studies. Many go to work as teachers or are unemployed. There are also institutes which give more vocational training, specialising in agricultural, technical or pedagogical studies, which students may attend after grade 10 in lieu of a pre-university school.
After independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Mozambican pupils continued to be admitted every year at Portuguese high schools, polytechnical institutes and universities, through bilateral agreements between the Portuguese government and the Mozambican government. According to 2010 estimates, the literacy rate of Mozambique is 56.1% (70.8% male and 42.8% female).
We give thanks to God for helping us to start the missions work in Mozambique. The seed of Mozambique field was planted in 2000 AD, when Dr. and Mrs. Olupona, Nigerian Baptists, resident in Maputo, went to the Land. Mozambique made a Macedonian call to the Nigerian Baptist Convention. The GMB, through the Oluponas went over to the land and saw the terrible and deplorable spiritual and leadership states of the people and the Baptist Churches in the Country. It was discovered that majority of the Mozambicans have no religion. Many are nominal Christians and Moslem faithfuls. This clarion call also made the Director of GMB, Rev. I. C. Obieje, to visit the country in November 2004, to discuss with the Baptist Church leaders there.
In 2006, a survey was made in the country by Rev. J.T. Olakunle, who came back with detailed records of the Leadership. This was done to help us know how to effectively strategize for the partnership agreement with the Union of Baptist Churches in Mozambique.
The Baptist Union of Mozambique has been described as one mile long and an inch deep. Though the union is one of the largest denominations in the land, the state of the Baptist work is still very weak. The union in 2006 have about 1,700 local congregations with less than 300-trained Pastors; 99% of who are diploma and certificate holders. None of the Pastors are on full time pastoral appointment as the Churches are not financially strong to appoint a full time minister. A pastor who acts as district coordinator oversees about 7Churches and rotates from one Church to the other. Leadership problem is a critical one. No Pastor receives any salary or allowance from the Churches.
The stewardship responsibility of the members is very weak, giving rise to the perceivable poverty level of the Church. Tithes are paid once every three months and what individual pays is very small. Members are yet to get a correct understanding and importance of stewardship responsibility of the believers in Christ.
Christian stewardship is equally weak. The Churches have no ongoing discipleship training, no midweek Bible Study, and the Sunday School which should bridge this gap is only meant for children; Adults do not have Sunday School class let alone attending one. The members are positively disposed to prayer but there is no such opportunity as midweek prayer service or meeting. No spiritual program like revival to awaken the membership and the existing ones are not been taken seriously.
People Groups on Focus: Mozambicans
Partnering with IUBM in the following areas:
- Denominational Administration and Growth: Influencing the apex leadership to take a major decision with regard to congregational church polity, adult Sunday school, faithful stewardship, pastoral ministry in a local church, cooperative programmes, church organization and functioning, and other perceived weakness of the denomination (Igreja União Baptista de Mozambique).
- Christian Education:
- Facilitating the take off of adult Sunday school in churches
- Translation of some Nigerian Baptist educational materials into Portuguese e.g. Sunday school, devotionals and discipleship materials
- Leadership Development:
- Theological training of leaders and potential leaders in Mozambique
- Theological training of leaders and potential leaders in Nigeria
- Capacity development of lay leaders and pastors with no theological training
- Mission and Church Planting
- Planting International Model Baptist Church in Cities in collaboration with IUBM leadership, a willing Province or local church
- Influencing and facilitating the planting of indigenous churches
- Social concern and Infrastructural development
- Facilitating the starting of international Christian school to raise young disciples
- Exploring the potential and areas of need of the church for collaborative effort in developing it e.g. sachet water and bottle water plant, cassava processing plant
- Research and statistics
- Assist the church in planning and implementing annual national church survey
- Assist the Union in creating a data bank for IUBM
- Religion/Nominalism in Mozambique: The people in the Northern Province (especially the youths and the Moslems), are less evangelized. Most Mozambicans are communists in heart due to the previous influence of the communist government that ruled few years back. The country is still a member of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). These and more are responsible for the high rise in nominalism in the country.
- HIV/AIDS Problems: About 14% of the populations are HIV positive and HIV/AIDS scourge is getting rampant among the youths. Many children (about 300,000) have become orphans and the life span of the people is being cut short. Many hardly cross 40 years before dying.
- Immorality: A monster of Satan that continues to ruin the people is the spirit of Jezebel. Sexual immorality is on the high rate especially among the youths. People only go to church on Sundays to land themselves back in beer parlors, bar beaches and many obscure places for illicit acts! Sodomy is found to be the order of the day. May the Lord deliver all those found in the claws and fangs of this monster, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
- War Victims: 40% of the populace has become refugees scattered all over. These ones are living a hopeless life. They are looking forward to the time their hope will be enlivened in the Lord. We must do something to help these brethren of ours.