Mozambique: ISIS-affiliate is kidnapping children to use as fighters, Christians persecuted

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Major rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Wednesday that an ISIS-affiliated terror group in northern Mozambique has been kidnapping children to use as soldiers, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Human Rights Watch based its Mozambique report on first-hand witness accounts of atrocities committed by the ISIS-affiliated group known as Al-Shabab, ICC reports. According to HRW, the group has kidnapped hundreds of children and trained them in the notoriously violent Cabo Delgado province.

The children are then forced to fight against government troops as part of a 3-year long insurgency in which more than 2,500 people have been killed, and 70,000 displaced, ICC said. In its report, HRW quoted a former child soldier as saying: “We joined many other men and boys and were trained on how to use guns and knives to fight. They told us that we had to kill and fight for our land and to protect our religion, which is under attack in Mozambique.”

According to ICC, the Cabo Delgado province where child soldiers are taken to be trained is also an area that has seen “believers killed in staggering numbers at the hands of extremists, with thousands of others kidnapped or forced to flee.”

“We ask that you join us in praying for the Lord to bring peace to Mozambique, to strengthen the government's protection over its people, and to heal the trauma that thousands have had to endure,” ICC added in its report. “We also ask that you pray for those who persecute the church, that they will be blessed with knowing the truth of the gospel and accept Jesus’s love for them.”

For the first time ever, Mozambique was this year placed on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries which persecute Christians; it ranks 45 on the 2021 list.