Few people have any extensive knowledge of the life and witness of the Protestant churches in the former Portuguese colonies of southern Africa. Yet these communities of faith played a significant role in the liberation struggles that led to the independence of both Mozambique and Angola, and subsequently to the independence of Zimbabwe and the ending of apartheid in South Africa. In Mozambique, Eduardo Mondlane emerged from the Swiss Mission to become the first president of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). This book examines Mondlane’s role in challenging the churches both in Mozambique and globally to support the struggle for independence through a renewed understanding of the missio Dei, God’s liberating mission in the world. Mondlane maintained a strong connection with the World Council of Churches and was a key player in bringing about its Programme to Combat Racism after the 1968 Assembly in Uppsala, before his assassination in 1969. As Robert Faris shows, this connection was to have important implications for the WCC’s complex relationship with Mozambique and its Protestant churches following independence.
Foreword by John W. de Gruchy
List of Abbreviations
1. The Protestant Churches in Mozambique in Context
2. A Grounding in Faith: Mondlane’s Early Life in Mozambique and Integration into the Swiss Mission
3. Reformed and Reforming: Living Faith in South Africa
4. Into the Heart of Empire
5. Study in the United States – Oberlin College
6. Study in the United States – Northwestern University, Chicago
7. Discerning the Future
8. Return to Mozambique
9. Faith in FRELIMO
10. Mondlane’s Legacy of Faith
Endorsements and Reviews
Liberating Mission in Mozambique offers a new perspective on Mondlane’s life, it renews our understanding of religion and politics in Mozambique and it demonstrates brilliantly how the world missionary movement, including the World Council of Churches, evolved at the interface between structural constraints and the action of individuals.
Eric Morier-Genoud, Lecturer in African History, Queen’s University of Belfast
Portuguese-speaking countries and Christian missions in Africa are two topics on which many content themselves with gross generalisations. With his vivid yet soundly researched portrait of Eduardo Mondlane, the – assassinated – leading figure in Mozambique’s struggle for independence, Robert Faris gives us a fascinating and deeply enriching insight into the complex interactions between the local people, Western missionaries and the representatives of the colonial system.
Benedict Schubert, Lecturer in Missiology, Basel University, Switzerland