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IS claims responsibility for attack on Christian villages in Mozambique

by Sophie Drew

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on two Christian villages in Mozambique, which left two dead and four injured.

The terrorist organisation has posted pictures on social media of the New Year’s Eve attack.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic organisation helping refugees fleeing in the wake of the attacks described a “wave of militant extremist violence” that was “flushing out” Christians in the north of the country.

ACN’s head of Press, John Pontifex told Premier Christian News there are “thousands upon thousands of individuals, communities, families, entire parishes, who have been forced to migrate, and are in a very perilous situation.”

He continued: “Those needs are very immediate, and the charity is doing its level best to meet those needs at different displacement camps and centres. But at this time of year, the need there is greater than ever, especially as people fear yet more attacks.”

On Monday, Pope Francis warned diplomats of “increased intolerance” towards Christians, even in countries where they are not the minority.

According to the pontiff, one in every seven believers is experiencing persecution.

He said: “We should not overlook the fact that violence and acts of discrimination against Christians are also increasing in countries where the latter are not a minority.

“Religious freedom is also endangered wherever believers see their ability to express their convictions in the life of society restricted in the name of a misguided understanding of inclusiveness.

“Religious freedom, which cannot be reduced simply to freedom of worship, is one of the minimum requisites for a dignified way of life.”

In a recent survey by ACN, the organisation found persecution had worsened in all 24 countries they were investigating.

Pontifex said: “Our sense is very much that, yes, the situation for Christians has got worse. We've seen greater interest and engagement in the international community, but that hasn't translated into action that enabled the Christians to live out their faith without fear of retaliation.”

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