Tazania: 2 Christians killed in violence

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, Persecution

Tanzania ChristiansTanzania, April 08, 2013: Two Christians have been killed and scores arrested as violence again erupted in Tanzania over the slaughter of animals; Muslims are denying Christians the right to sell their meat because it is not halal.

The row has been going on for some weeks, but the opposition is intensifying as the authorities side with the Muslim aggressors.

On 3 April, Christians in Tunduma came under attack. Two were killed and a local Christian leader arrested. When other pastors went to see the minister, they were beaten and injured; many required hospital treatment.

Over 60 Christians were arrested in Tunduma, with dozens of others being detained in other parts of the country.

Because there is no law against Christians slaughtering meat for public consumption, some of those detained have been charged with other offences, such as breaking the peace or causing unrest, which could result in a five-year jail term. Others are being held illegally.

In February, Pastor Mathayo Kachila (45) was beheaded in an attack on a Christian butcher’s in Buseresere. Police arrested three people in connection with this incident – another pastor and two others who were involved in the slaughter of animals – but nobody over the murder of Pastor Mathayo.

Church leaders have made a united response to the crisis; around 180 from different denominations issued a statement condemning the killings, the burning of churches, other injustices committed against Christians by Muslims and the failure of the government to intervene.

Muslims have customarily carried out the slaughter of animals in Tanzania to ensure that all meat is halal. The custom is now being enforced as if it were law. As well as enduring the assaults on their butchers, Christians are banned from rearing pigs in areas that have a significant Muslim presence.

The Christian community in Tanzania is under assault on a number of fronts; threats and attacks against them are on the rise as Islamists grow in strength.

Church leaders and evangelists are being particularly targeted. There have been attacks on their properties, and some have had to leave their homes, such is the severity of the threat to their lives.

One senior Christian leader in Tanzania told Barnabas Fund that the country could be totally Islamised in five to ten years if the Church does not make a decisive response.

– barnabas team

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