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Three Church Buildings Torched in Tanzania

World  (tags: Islam, Muslims, Christians, 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', africa, conflict, crime, death, ethics, freedoms, HumanRights, society, terrorism, violence )

- 1334 days ago -
Frightened congregations without places to worship.


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Gillian M (11)
Sunday September 27, 2015, 10:40 am
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Three church buildings were set ablaze on Tuesday (Sept. 22) in an area of northwestern Tanzania where Muslim extremists have issued threats, pastors said.
A pastor of one of the three churches whose buildings were gutted, Vedasto Athanas of Living Water International church, said area Christians are worried and frightened as such attacks have increased each of the past few years.
“What is worrying us is that the burning of the three churches happened within a span of two hours,” he told Morning Star News. “What is even more worrying is that we have been receiving threats from Muslim extremists that they want churches reduced in this area.”
Also burned were the buildings of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God and the Evangelical Assemblies of God; all three churches are located in the Kashfa village area of Bukoba District, church leaders said.
Living Waters’ congregation numbers about 350, the Pentecostal Assemblies of God has 300 members and the Evangelical Assemblies of God Tanzania has 200.
“We have lost everything in our churches – the buildings, the chairs and musical instruments,” Athanas said. “Our members have nowhere to worship.”
One point of contention, according to church leaders, has to do with animal slaughter. Muslim extremists in the area have objected to Christians slaughtering animals, an act they consider forbidden for non-Muslims.
Kagera Region is known as an area where traditional animist and spiritist practices include ritual execution and removal of human organs. The shamans who lead them have blocked the spread of Christianity, and they instill fear as they kill boys to remove their sexual organs for their religious rituals, but they are not suspected in the church burnings, a source said.
Another church leader, who requested anonymity, said authorities have refused to grant local churches permission to construct worship centers on the pretext that lands are designated only as residential areas.
“We do request for prayers at this difficult moment,” Athanas said.
Tanzania’s Muslims, 31 percent of the total population, are largely tolerant but have become increasingly polarized between moderates and extremists, according to Operation World. Christians make up 54 percent of the country’s population.
In eastern Tanzania in Tanga Region, a church building in Mashewa, Muheza District was set fire on Jan. 20. In the same district in Zirai, a predominantly Muslim area, a young woman who had left Islam and married a Christian was beaten and badly burned by her parents on Nov. 2, 2014.
In October 2012, Islamists burned several church buildings in various parts of Tanzania after two children’s argument about the Koran resulted in a Christian boy allegedly defiling Islam’s sacred book.

Stardust Noel (10)
Monday September 28, 2015, 6:29 am
It's a big worry, Christians & Jews continue to be terrorized.

Ken O (55)
Monday September 28, 2015, 12:56 pm
“Our members have nowhere to worship.” Well isn't that just too bad. Maybe they can go worship God under a tree, in the forest, in a field, in their homes. It's not like they were rounded up and forced to worship a God the Europeans brought them by Father Junipero is it? OK then we'll call it Christian Karma and leave it at that.

Janet B (0)
Monday September 28, 2015, 2:06 pm

David B (34)
Monday September 28, 2015, 2:13 pm
ok here we go again , more crap and destruction because of religion . get rid of it , ban it , outlaw every last bit of it .it is so very disgusting the amount of grief , death and destruction it brings . no matter what religion it is . Thank You Penny .

Walter F (128)
Tuesday September 29, 2015, 12:05 am
Why not play the same game as the torchers burn a mosque or two .That should discourage them.

Lawrence D (3)
Tuesday September 29, 2015, 9:33 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 29, 2015, 11:32 pm
The world over---if you don't want to give back to Earth and give of yourself t help others----at least, don't take away. As for whatever label your creator is given, pray, worship, chant, roll, anywhere on Earth. If your God doesn't hear you, unless you're in a specific place of worship, I think you better rethink about who and what you're adoring. The battles can obviously be never-ending, and some powerful folks want it to. We all have knee-jerk reactions, but, most of us are more humane, more empathetic, and even make time to project what our action today might cause tomorrow. We don't commit hateful, wicked acts to please someone else. Maybe some soul's origins are hell. Ive witnessed babies and tots who displayed very wicked mindsets, before they could even speak, in some cases. But, for most, I think a general negative, hate-filled environment sets the course for the rest of life's journey.There's no room in their hearts for love, empathy, compassion, peace---and they come to envy, hate, those who do possess those traits. "If I can't live a somewhat beautiful life, than neither can you".
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