Chopi in Mozambique

Joshua Project has identified the Chopi only in Mozambique





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Chopi people speak Chichopi, which is a Bantu language, and the younger generation also speak Portuguese, the official language of Mozambique.

They are well known for their use of the timbila instrument and their accompanying skill in traditional dancing.

Where Are they Located?

They are mainly located on the coast between Chidenguele in the province of Gaza and Inharimme in the province of Inhambane. The center of the Chopi people group is the Zavala district, and specifically the town of Quissico.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Chopi generally live a life of subsistence agriculture growing staples such as cassava, corn, and peanuts, and they also fish. They eat what they grow and go to local markets to sell their produce and buy other things. Their stretch of the Mozambican coast has an abundance of coconut palms as well as many cashew trees.

Many of the men work over the border in South Africa in the mines, leaving many households with several generations of women. The women work in the fields, take care of children, get water, cook, clean, and sell produce at the markets.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Chopi function under a traditional animistic belief system where local witchdoctors and healers have spiritual authority in the communities. Ancestors are worshipped, and pacified when angered. Animal sacrifices are important to obtain favor with spirits that one may have good crops, health, peace, and success. Ropes, strings, and cords are also tied around the body under the clothes (especially at the neck and waist, and for babies also at the wrists) for spiritual protection and success.

There are also many Chopi that belong to the African independent church called Zione (locally mazione) which combines teachings of the Old Testament of the Bible and traditional rituals for purification, different forms of "baptisms" and demonic exorcism. The prophets where colorful robes and utilize spiritual objects that are said to contain power, such as special ropes and staffs. Most are polygamist and they do not eat pork.

There are a few Catholic and Protestant churches, but many of the church members would continue to function, at some level, under traditional animistic belief system alongside of their church practices.

What Are Their Needs?

The Chopi need to know that the Creator God is all powerful and that He loves them. They need to truly and deeply understand His salvation in Christ and His victory over Satan, demons, and darkness. They, like all other people, need incarnational missionaries who enter in and dwell amongst them to be, do, and speak God's grace and truth in Christ Jesus.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Chopi
People Name in Country Chopi
Population in Mozambique 1,065,000
World Population 1,065,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Lengue
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Central-Southeast
People Name General Chopi
Ethnic Code NAB57p
People ID 11368
Country Mozambique
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country South coast, north of Limpopo River. Center is Quissico, south Zavala District, 100 km coastal strip between Inharrime and Chidunguela.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
For Primary Language: Chopi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1910-2011)
New Testament Yes   (2000)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Chopi Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.00 %)
35.00 %
Ethnic Religions
65.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
25.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
75.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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