Church in Tanzania Attacked by 100 Muslim Extremists

ICC Note:

Islamic extremism continues to drive Christians persecution on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar. On January 11, a mob of more that 100 extremists broke into a church during a Sunday service and brutally beat the visiting pastor. The mob stated that their intention was to use violence to drive the Christians out of their neighborhood. Police briefly arrested some of the assailants, but they were later released. Please pray for Christians living in Zanzibar, who are daily facing growing persecution.  

1/27/2014 Tanzania (Morning Star News) – More than 100 Muslim extremists on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar stormed a church following an evening worship service on Jan. 11 and beat a visiting preacher, sources said.

The mob, including suspected members of Islamic extremist groups, meant to attack the Pentecostal Evangelism Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) congregation’s senior pastor, Bishop Daniel Kwilemba, who was not present at the church site in Kisauni village, outside Zanzibar City. Instead, they found a preacher visiting from the Tanzania mainland – William Saidi of the Free Pentecostal Church in Tanzania in Dar es Salaam, church leaders said.

“These rowdy Muslims were shouting and yelling, saying, ‘We are looking for the bishop of the church to slaughter him – we are tired of the existence of this church near our mosque and the noise they are making,’” said a church elder.

The mob fled when police arrived and rescued the pastor after he had suffered multiple contusions for which he is still taking medication, sources said. The assailants tore his shirt and suit coat.

Since the attack, the Muslim extremists have been issuing threats that the church should leave the area near Zanzibar City, capital of the semi-autonomous island in the Indian Ocean about 25 kilometers (16 miles) off the coast of Tanzania, sources said. A church member added that the congregation has been living in fear for their lives.

“At the moment we cannot worship freely because we are being threatened,” the church member said. “The Muslims are accusing us of making a lot of noise while they themselves make a lot of noise.”

Police arrested some suspects and took them to Kisauni police station, but they were later released, sources said.

During the past Christmas season the Muslim extremists threatened to burn down the building of the PEFA church, which began three years ago.

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