Attacks rocked the Lutheran-run Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University in Lushoto, Tanga Province, the weekend of September 3-4. While the mainland of Tanzania is approximately 50% Christian, the militant movements in Somalia and Kenya are presently having a serious impact on the country. Tanzanian security forces arrested 10 suspected al-Shabaab militants and discovered bomb-making materials during the raid of a mosque in April 2015.
In the September weekend attack, local media reported that an unknown number of people attacked the campus. They killed one security guard and gravely injured another before proceeding to the hostels. A student told ITV (a national TV station) she and her roommate woke to the sound of men pushing on the hostel gates and demanding that residents open them, while threatening to kill them. When the students did not open the gates, they heard the men discussing how to kill them. They argued over breaking in and slaughtering them, or just pouring petrol onto the building and setting it ablaze. The witness told media she heard the others say that the fire would do the job just as well as slaughtering them. The students then smelled petrol and saw flames. The men reportedly then left.
Students scrambled out through small windows before running into the nearby forest. Miraculously, no one was killed but many suffered minor injuries and suffered from smoke inhalation.
Father God, how we thank You for Your gracious hand of protection over these university students, for confusing the assailants in their dispute to give the students time to escape. The power of spiritual darkness through the work of al-Shabaab is great, but we praise You for the confidence that the power of Your Spirit is greater and Christ has won the ultimate victory. We pray against the power of al-Shabaab in Tanzania; strengthen government forces as they seek to stop these forces of evil in their nation. Protect Your church in Tanzania, Lord, and empower them as they proclaim the gospel of Christ among their neighbors, that many will come to saving faith. In the Name of Jesus the holy and righteous Son of God, full of mercy and grace. Amen.