Stories

The 5-5-5 Challenge: A Story of Persecution In Tanzania

Tanzania Tanzania was once celebrated as a role model for peace in Africa, but is no longer being considered ‘safe’ after an increase in inter-faith violence, with little evidence so far of perpetrators being brought to justice. A blast outside St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Arusha, a town popular with tourists visiting the Serengeti national park and Mount Kilimanjaro, was just the most recent example. The newly built church, in the Olasti district on the outskirts of Arusha, was celebrating its first ever mass at the time of the attack, which left three dead and more than 60 injured. Tension has been building between the two most populous religious communities in Tanzania – Christians comprise 62 percent of the population, while 35 percent is Muslim (Pew, 2010). In Zanzibar, which is 97 percent Muslim, arsonists burned the Evangelical Church of Siloam on February 19, two days after gunmen killed a Catholic priest, Father Evaristus Mushi, in the Motni area of the island. Earlier that month, an Assemblies of God minister, Pastor Mathayo Kachili, was hacked to death in the Geita region of Lake Victoria, when he intervened in an altercation between villagers over the slaughter of an animal, after the local government had granted Christians the right to practice as butchers. Learn More & Pray

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