World Watch List Challenge – #49 Tanzania

December 15, 2014 by Janelle P in Africa

In 1844, two German Protestant missionary-explorers -Johann Krapf and Johan Rebmann- came to the Tanzania. They represented the British based Church Missionary Society. In 1850’s, these German missionaries were followed by the Catholic Church. The church was established, but Krapf and Rehmann’s efforts were met with little growth. The historic presence of Islam was partly causing this lack of growth.

Additionally, the main Evangelical thrust has always been focused on the mainland where the church has grown quite rapidly after the communist era. Most of the churches on the Zanzibar Islands (Unguja and Pemba) reach mostly expatriates from Tanzania mainland and other countries. According to an OD field researcher, the church in Tanzania is economically weak. In addition, it appears in terms of active outreach absent. Subsequently, the church seems to have a diminishing influence in Tanzania’s society. It appears that the church is struggling because of both external and glaring internal weaknesses that reduce her effectiveness. This is partly caused by insufficient biblical knowledge and disunity among Christians. There is a great need to enhance the existing legal structures, and to address external weaknesses that would empower the church to be effective and vibrant in all aspects of church life. A priority is to assist the church to form an Apex society as per constitutional requirement. This would then give the church a voice as a legal entity; an aspect the church is desperately lacking.
*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes