Twenty-two percent of Mozambicans profess to be Evangelical Christians, but very few have meaningful knowledge of the Scriptures or of the only true gospel that saves – the gospel of salvation by grace through faith. The vast majority of Protestant churches preach a gospel of salvation by works that hardly differs from that taught by the Catholic Church.
This ignorance of the true gospel is due in part to the lack of Bibles and Bible resources that characterized Mozambique in the colonial years under the Catholic-oriented Portuguese regime that ruled until 1975. Under African communist rulers who took over and governed until 1992 the situation only became worse. Protestant mission boards, seminaries, and Bible schools found it impossible to continue their ministries, and the lack of Bibles and Bible knowledge became even more pronounced in Mozambique.
In 1992, the nation abandoned communism and a new constitution was adopted which permitted freedom of religion for the first time in Mozambique’s history. The church has grown rapidly in recent decades, but her leaders are generally men who have scant knowledge of the scriptures and no formal Bible training. Church growth appears to be more a sociological phenomenon than the result of the Spirit of God working through Bible-based preaching and evangelism to produce regenerate, sincere believers. In the midst of these realities, there is a great need to equip church leaders with Bibles and Bible resources that can strengthen their ministries to their local churches and communities.
Since 1999, Grace Missions has teamed with Editora Fiel (Faithful Publishers) in Brazil and missionary Karl Peterson in Capetown, South Africa, to provide Reformed Christian literature in the Portuguese language to Mozambican pastors and church workers throughout the country.
Thanks to Editora Fiel and similar publishing houses in Brazil, excellent books have been translated into Portuguese by authors ranging from Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin to Puritans John Owen, Jeremiah Burroughs, John Bunyan, and Jonathan Edwards, to 19th century teachers and preachers like Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle, to contemporary writers like David Martin Lloyd-Jones, J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and John Piper.
These books are distributed in Mozambique through annual conferences for church leaders, through a local bookstore established and operated by Grace Missions, and through cooperation with Editora Fiel’s Pastor’s Library Project. Men on the Pastor’s Library Project are carefully chosen church leaders who receive one free book each month for three years. To date, over 300 church leaders have passed through this reading program or are currently benefitting from it.
This service is an invaluable aid to the church in Mozambique where the need for sound Bible resources is great, but where Christian bookstores and literature outlets are virtually non-existent.
“I just now received from the Pastor’s Library Project one DVD [Nine Marks of a Healthy Church], and three books [Preaching Pure and Simple; Conquering the World; and Mother, Are You Content?]. I do not have words to explain how thankful I am to God for all that is happening to me. Perhaps I can sum it up in one word: Miraculous! I am so happy to have received this material which I am already devouring!”
– Pastor André Kizito Marcos da Costa