Bantu people migrated into the area of today's Mozambique in the 4th century. Arab trade posts were established along the coast several centuries before the Portuguese began to colonize the territory in the 16th century, seeking slaves andgold. Portuguese colonial influence was mainly exercised through private companies until after World War II, when thousands of Portuguese settled in Mozambique, officially a province of Portugal. In 1964, the liberation struggle began, and in 1975 Mozambique achieved its independence under the socialist regime of FRELIMO, the liberation front. A resistance movement, RENAMO, backed by South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, began a civil war which lasted until 1990, when a new constitution was enacted. One million Mozambicans died, 1.5 million fled to neighbouring countries, and 4 million were displaced. A peace agreement was reached in 1992 with the help of the UN. Since then, Mozambique has consolidated political stability and put in place conditions for economic recovery. The majority of the population live from subsistence farming. Export products are cash crops, aluminium and electricity. The Catholic Church is the largest church. It played an important role in bringing the civil war to an end. The Pentecostals make up about 40 percent of the Protestant and Independent churches. The Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, and African independent churches are also large. The Methodists belong to the WCC through the United Methodist Church, and the Anglicans through the Province of Southern Africa. The Christian Council of Mozambique is the ecumenical body. The Evangelical Association is affiliated with the WEA.
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Ecumenical solidarity visit to Mozambique
An international ecumenical team of church representatives, so called "Living Letters", paid a solidarity visit to churches and ecumenical organizations in Angola from 23 to 28 July 2009.