Religion in Mozambique


In 2019, Mozambique had a population density of 37 residents per km2. The country has on several occasions in recent decades been affected by natural disasters with accompanying supply problems, among other things. 1982–84, 1992 and 2000–01. About 32 percent of the population lives in cities, of which the capital Maputo (1.1 million residents, 2017), Matola (1 million) and Nampula (663,200) are the largest.

According to Countryaah data, Mozambique’s people can be divided into three main groups. The northern part of the country is populated by Makua, who are Muslims (4 million), lolo (182,000), yao (556,000) and sena (1.5 million), who belong to the same matrilineal belt as the people of Malawi, Zambia, northern Angola, southern Congo (Kinshasa) and southern Congo. Above all, they share the same cultural heritage as the neighboring people of Malawi, where the woman’s role in the family is strongly respected and where her role in the cult and fertility symbolism are also prominent.

The middle part of the country is populated by groups that linguistically and culturally belong to the Shona people, especially manyika (184,000), ndau (581,000) and shona (474,000). Here is a patrilineal descent system within a social hierarchy, crowned by sacred rulers. A false ideal of men dominates this culture, which, however, lacks emphasis on warlike virtues. The male’s dominant role is more symbolic, and appears especially in religion, myth and ritual. Male ancestors are objects of a fertility cult, where it is the man’s efforts for reproduction that is the symbolic motif – both in the ancestral cult at the family level and in the rain ceremonies organized at the chief level.

The southern part of the country is also populated by patrilineal people, with Christian tsonga (2.6 million) at the forefront. They belong to the southeastern bantu culture (the Nguni people) and have a strong patriarchal family system with ancestral cult and fallaciously oriented fertility views. However, like other Nguni people, they have a more aggressive masculinity ideal than the Shona people (manyika) and place a stronger emphasis on warlike virtues.

The three groups belong in a culturally and linguistic sense to completely different areas, or “cultural provinces”, but their livelihoods are nevertheless not completely different. The married woman in all three groups is the person on whom agriculture rests, and thus also the basic supply. The men are engaged in politics and pets – nowadays they also work far away from home.

People in Mozambique


In Mozambique, some 20 native languages ​​belonging to the zones G, N, P and S. of the bantu languages ​​are spoken. The largest include makua (with all variants about 30% of the population), tsonga (8%) and shona (4%). Dominant interpersonal and official language is the former colonial language, Portuguese. Compare population above.


More than half of the people of Mozambique were reported to be Christians in 2010. Of these, the Catholics, who have been in the country since 1506, accounted for just over 40 percent, the Protestants about 25 percent, and those called independent Christians, to whom primarily charismatic and Pentacostal communities, accounted for about 20 percent. Other confessors in the country include Anglicans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Seventh-day Adventists, Baha’is, Hindus and Jews. In addition, there are smaller groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Islam, which came to this part of Africa in the 9th century, is one fifth of the population. Among Muslims, there is no major difference between Sunni and Shia. More important, however, is the identification with the local religious leader.

There are tangible elements of syncretism in many Mozambique Christians who blend the Christian faith with elements of traditional folklore. Even among Muslims, it is common for people to mix their faith and religious practice with traditional African rites.

The 1990 Constitution and other laws guarantee the right of citizens to practice or not practice a religion, which also works in practice. During the Portuguese colonial era, which ceased in 1974, the Catholic leadership worked closely with the state – one of the causes of Frelimos’s initially strong religious-critical policies. In today’s constitution, political parties are prohibited from associating with a religion or a church.

According to thesciencetutor, the country of Mozambique has no national holidays of a religious nature. However, Muslims believe that the National Family Day, which is celebrated on December 25, is in fact a Christian holiday, and therefore Muslims believe that Id al-fitr should also have the status of national holiday day and not as now that Muslims on this day are only entitled to leave.

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Religious institutions and mission organizations must be registered with the Ministry of Justice, thereby publishing where they receive their income and state the names of at least 500 members. Registration does not bring any benefits of any kind. In 2010, the register contained 749 religious communities and 167 religious organizations. Religious organizations have the right to run schools where religious education is also given, which is not allowed in public schools.

Mozambique Religion