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 ICC Note: Christian churches continue to be torched in Tanzania, despite assurances by the government that it is addressing the situation. Christian leaders participated in a government-sponsored peace dialogue with local Islamic leaders. However, continued threats, provocations, and church burnings – without a government response – have led many to believe that the dialogue is ineffective. In protest, Christian leaders have withdrawn from the conference and called for an independent and direct dialogue to be established.
12/03/2013 Tanzania (Tanzania Daily News via – THE union of church denominations in Tanga Region has resolved to pull out of the government- initiated peace platform, which requires religious leaders from both Islamic and Christian faiths, to sit together and discuss various religious issues in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.
The Christian leaders who represented Pentecostal, Lutheran, Anglican, Moravian and Baptist churches, met here on Friday to discuss the peace situation and the ongoing incidents of torching church buildings.
The meeting, which was chaired by Bishop Dr Jothan Mwakimage, cited the recent burning of a Lutheran church building in Korogwe town and an Evangelical Assembles of God (EAGT) church in Kalalani village in the same district as vivid examples of a breakdown of a peace accord between the major faiths in the region.
Dr Mwakimage told the church leaders that the peace platform initiated by the government involving Christian and Islamic leaders was almost useless because incidents of torching church buildings were on the increase while no culprits were arrested.
“We have come here to discus very crucial issues. The situation these days is not good. We need to come up with another peace committee to be set by ourselves because the government platform has failed to deal with the matter,” said the Bishop.