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ICC Notes: Christians in Tanzania are experiencing a dramatic increase in targeted persecution. Several attacks have occurred over that last six months targeting Pastors, Churches, and individuals. This latest attack is believed to have been carried out by Islamist as part of an ongoing campaign of religious cleansing.
11/6/2013 Tanzania (World Watch Monitor) – Another Christian leader in northern Tanzania has been killed in what appears to be a targeted attack, with two other worshippers from the church badly injured.
They were all attacked with machetes by unknown men. The assailants came at around 1am, while Gilgal Christian Worship Centre (Pentecostal) was holding an overnight service, and started cutting them on different parts of their bodies. The motive of the attack is unclear.
The incident occurred on Oct. 22 in an area known as Pasiansi in the Ilemela district of Mwanza province. Mwanza is on the shores of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Uganda and Kenya. The man killed was identified as Elias Lunyamila Meshack, a 35-year-old youth leader. The members of Gilgal Church described him as a good man and said his death has caused great sadness.
One man, Elias Msakuzi, suffered cuts to his head, but has now been released from hospital. Msakuzi Mwanza Regional Police Commander Earnest Mangu said that another, Tumsifu Pungu, was in a critical condition, but he is now believed to be recovering.
Speaking about this incident, the leader of Gilgal Christian Worship Centre Bishop Eliabu Sentozi said that there was no evidence of robbery because the attackers didn’t steal anything. He called upon the police to swiftly and carefully investigate the incident and others like it.
“I don’t think this was robbery because the aim of robbers is to steal money and other items, yet nothing was stolen here!” said the bishop.
Police Chief Earnest Mangu confirmed the incident took place and asked church members and the public to wait for their investigation.
The incident comes as the latest in a string of attacks on churches and pastors across East Africa, with two pastors in Kenya killed on the same day.