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Tanzanian Christian Leaders Want Justice after Muslim Mob Demolishes Churches

Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2012) – Tanzanian Christian leaders are seeking justice after a Muslim mob demolished three churches in the autonomous region of Zanzibar on May 26. Christians say that Islamic attackers have destroyed 25 churches in the past ten years but the Muslim government officials of Zanzibar have failed to bring the perpetrators to justice and rebuild their churches.

About 200 Muslims were shouting ‘Takbir, Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is great) as they attacked our churches. I was nearby my church when they destroyed it,” said a Christian leader who asked to remain anonymous due security reasons.

The Christian leader also indicated that the Muslim attackers are getting bolder. He said, “It is the first time that Muslims demolished churches in the city of Zanzibar. In the past, they only attacked churches in the villages.”

Government officials in Zanzibar blame members of a separatist Islamic group for the attacks. Members of the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation want the region of Zanzibar to separate from the rest of Tanzania.

A Tanzanian Christian leader who lives in the United States, however, blames all the officials of Zanzibar for the anti-Christian attacks. The leader told ICC that, “when it comes to persecuting Christians, the politicians in Zanzibar are all united. They want to destroy churches; they don’t give permits for Christians to build their churches. Christians don’t get justice from the officials in Zanzibar. Some police openly say that they are willing to participate in destruction of churches.”

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, “We deplore the anti-Christian attacks in Zanzibar. The officials in Zanzibar have to stop their policies of discriminating against Christians. We urge the Tanzanian government to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.”

Please call the Tanzanian Embassy in your country and ask them to protect Christians from attacks and to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.

United States: (+1) 202 939-6125

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