THE MAKUA OF MOZAMBIQUE
66% Traditional Religionl
Indicators Favoring Receptivity: Recent church growth (The Union Baptists, Assemblies of God, and Church of Christ reported that most of their growth had come in the last five years); Extreme suffering; Lack of mission influence; Social change; Homogeneity; Approaching end of war.
Indicators Restricting Receptivity
Overwhelming physical needs may make stable church planting difficult.
90 persons/sq. mile (Nampula province)
Over 4 million Makua speakers.
There are two primary Makua-speaking peoples: the Makua and the Lomwe. There are nearly 2 million Lomwe. The Makua are the primary group in Nampula province, while the Lomwe dominate Zambezia.
Daipa, a Mozambican Baptist missionary, says that there are some major differences between the Makua dialects, while other informants advised that, except for some small groups near the coast, the differences are minor.
All of the missionaries and national church leaders interviewed by researchers were happy to hear of plans for missionaries of the churches of Christ to enter Mozambique. No undue protection was seen. Many offered to help new teams enter.
Churches in Nampula province include the Catholic (295,340 members), Igreja de Cristo ( 2,200), Evangelical Church of Christ ( 3,000), Union Baptist (14,153), Assemblies of god (7,544), Nazarenes (964), Apostolic Church of Africa (1,601), and Twelve Apostles (1,800).
A significant minority of the Makua speaking people follow Islam (see above). In most cases this is highly syncretistic folk Islam. Some small ethnic groups in Mozambique are 100% Islamic
The population of Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique has increased from 800,000 in 1980 to over 2 million today. The city of Nampula has increased from 120,000 in 1975 to around half a million. Rising urbanization is a significant factor in Mozambique.
Two million Mozambicans have left the country due to the war. Many of these live in refugee camps in Malawi and other surrounding countries.
Availability of Scriptures
There are Bible translations in both Makua and Lomwe
Expectations of Government
Job Chambal, Director of Religious Affairs for the country, encouraged teams to come and offered his assistance. The Ministry of Religious Affairs in Nampula was also helpful. Missionaries would need convincing documentation of credentials, including a letter of good citizenship from the U.S. government.