With a predominantly Christian population, about half of which speaking Portuguese (the country’s only official language), Mozambique has been negotiating the emergence of democracy following the protracted civil war (1977-1992).

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Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. The right to freedom of belief is generally respected in practice, but the right to freedom of expression, and especially freedom of the press, is less respected by the government.

Political parties are governed by a law that expressly prohibits them from identifying exclusively with any religious or ethnic group.

Family, community and society

The 2007 census found that 56.1% identified as Christians (mainly Catholics), 17.9% as Muslims, 7.3% with other religious beliefs, mainly animism, and a significant 18.7% holding no religious beliefs.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

While press freedom is legally protected, journalists are sometimes harassed or threatened and often practice self-censorship.

Although the right to peaceful assembly is constitutionally protected, public demonstrations must obtain official approval.