Muslims Seize Christian Burial Sites in Tanzania’s Archipelago
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2011 Aug 03
Muslim extremists on Saturday (July 30) burned down a church building on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania, church leaders said, just three days after another congregation’s facility on the island was reduced to ashes. In Fuoni on the south coast of Zanzibar island (known locally as Unguja), Islamic extremists torched the building of the Evangelical Assemblies of God-Tanzania (EAGT) at around 2 p.m., said Pastor Leonard Massasa, who oversees Zanzibar’s EAGT churches. The assailants were shouting, “Away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children,” Pastor Massasa said. The EAGT church is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Zanzibar town. In Kianga about 10 kilometers (six miles) from Zanzibar town, another church building was burned down on July 27 at about 2 a.m., said Pastor George Frank Dunia of Free Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Africa. On neighboring Pemba island, suspected Muslims extremists in Konde on June 17 razed a Seventh-day Adventist Church building, a witness said. Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) Pastor Yohana Ari Mfundo said he has witnessed a series of attacks on Christians on Pemba island. The pastor had bought a half-acre of land for a church building some three kilometers (nearly two miles) from Chake-Chake town, but when area Muslims learned of it they arranged for a road to be built through it, he said. The smaller size made it fit only for residential use. “We are here in Pemba because God wants us to be. But Muslims always point a finger at us – especially at my house, and we have been receiving several threats,” Pastor Mfundo said.