Tanzanian Attacks Leave Christians Wary Over Future

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Tanzanian Attacks Leave Christians Wary Over Future


Three incidents of violence against ministers in Tanzania have left believers in the eastern African nation concerned over the future of religious freedom, Open Doors USA reports. On Feb. 17, gunmen shot and killed a Catholic priest on the island of Zanzibar. Police say they have arrested three suspects in connection with the murder, but their motive remains unknown. On Feb. 2, on mainland Tanzania, an Assemblies of God minister, Pastor Mathayo Kachili, was hacked to death in the Geita region when he intervened in an altercation between villagers over the slaughter of an animal. On Dec. 26, Catholic priest Father Ambrose Mkenda sustained serious injuries when unknown gunmen shot at him. He sustained two bullet wounds, one to the cheek and one to the back, and underwent surgery to extract the bullets. Father Anthony Makunde, secretary general of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, told a local newspaper, The Guardian, that the situation signaled a plot to destroy peace in the country. Tanzania is ranked No. 24 on the 2013 Open Doors World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians; it was previously unranked. Tanzania is a majority-Christian country with a substantial Muslim population, and Islamic extremism is the main persecution dynamic for the country.

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