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ICC Note: All over Tanzania where Christians live in majority-Muslim communities, followers of Christ face persecution if they seek employment as butchers. That’s because Muslims protest the idea of the sale of meat that’s prepared apart from ceremonial butchering practices known as “halal.” In Islam, butchers must follow specific guidelines in order that the food would be permissible to eat. Christianity allows meat consumption apart from these restrictions. As a result, the presence of a Christian butcher in town creates tension in the community, which has often led to riots. In February 2013, Muslim mobs murdered Christian butcher Mathayo Kachila in Buseresere.

5/23/16 Tanzania (World Watch Monitor) – The recent attack on a mosque in Mwanza, northern Tanzania, has highlighted the area as one under growing pressure from political Islam.

More than three years have passed since the murder of a Tanzanian pastor, killed when rioting Muslims protested against Christians working as butchers. Tanzania is believed to have equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, although no official census figures are available. As Muslims are only permitted to eat meat that has been ritually slaughtered, while almost all Christians have no such restraints, it is typically considered acceptable for only Muslims to work in the trade, even though there is no official legislation to enforce this.

On 11 Feb. 2013, after Christians in the north-western city of Buseresere had arranged for a non-Muslim butcher to prepare meat for a Christian funeral reception, Mathayo Kachila, the pastor of the local Assemblies of God church, was hacked to death by rioters.

For six years before, tension had been building between Muslims and Christians in Buseresere over the issue of animal slaughter. The local government had forbidden non-Muslims from working as butchers, but Christians in the Geita district had begun to do so.

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