CABO DELGADO, Mozambique — Suspected Islamic extremists decapitated a pastor in Cabo Delgado province in mid-December, then forced his wife to carry the severed head to a police station, reports the advocacy group International Christian Concern.
The heinous act comes amid a four-year insurgency that has plagued the country, states ICC. The violence has left about 3,000 people dead and an estimated 100,000 displaced.
Driving the violence is a terrorist group calling itself al-Shabab. Loosely affiliated with the Islamic State group, al-Shabab attacks Christians in Cabo Delgado, killing or kidnapping them or forcing them to flee, ICC states.
Jihadis have now widened their reign of terror into the neighboring Niassa province, as well as into the country of Tanzania, ICC reports.
The CIA World Factbook of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says Mozambique’s government lacks the ability to quash the insurgency by itself.
Mozambique was No. 45 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian. That was the country’s first year to appear on the list, according to relief agency Barnabas Fund.