In a region that has religious and ethnic violence, Tanzania fights to remain secular and united. Though there have been attacks on Churches in parts of Tanzania, the Primates World Relief and Development Fund, saw peaceful coexistence between the two groups in Mkumba where they were doing a development and relief project. In fact, they could not tell the Christians from the Muslims. A local imam said that Christians and Muslims work together because it is a communal life. In Mkumba, at least, Christians and Muslims have found common ground, this could be a good example for the region.
06/10/2017 Tanzania (Anglican Journal) -The diocese of Masasi’s Bishop James Almasi stands beneath the spreading branches of a large tree at the centre of the village, and pauses as the people seated before him acknowledge his greeting with the traditional response: “Alaikum Salaam” (And to you, peace).
Many of the men wear the traditional Muslim kofia hat, and amongst the crowd of women draped in colourful kitenge fabrics, several sport the tightly wrapped hijabs, but when he follows the Muslim greeting by hailing them in the name of Jesus Christ, the response of “Amin” (Arabic form of Amen) is just as loud.
Speaking in Swahili, Almasi introduces the villagers to the group of Canadians gathered behind him, who have come to southern Tanzania to learn about All Mothers and Children Count (AMCC), a project focused on maternal and newborn health. The project was spearheaded by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada.
When Almasi finishes the introduction, a man sitting in the midst of the crowd stands and introduces himself as Omari Bakari Mngwawaya, imam of the local mosque.
“I would like to thank you for not separating the [Christian and Muslim beneficiaries],” he says. “The projects we received—of course, we are so thankful because one of the boreholes was put in very close to our mosque!”