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On February 17th, Father Evarist Mushi was killed by gunmen outside the entrance of his church, which is located in the country's capital of Zanzibar. This shooting marks the second such attack that has taken place in recent months against Christian leaders on the Muslim-majority island.

President Jakaya Kikwete, who was shocked and saddened by the loss this most recent attack has caused, issued the following statement: "This is a deplorable incident that must be condemned.... All those responsible must be brought to justice." Three people were later arrested in connection with the murder.

The previous shooting incident occurred on Christmas Day when gunmen seriously wounded another Catholic priest as he returned home from church. While there have been tensions between the Muslims and Christians in Zanzibar, authorities are investigating further into the attacks to find out whether or not they are related. In this community, Christianity represents a minority (only about three percent) of the almost entirely Muslim population.

Pray for God's peace and justice on behalf of all who are part of the Zanzibar community, bringing an end to the violence and conflict that has plagued them. May the Lord not only bring physical healing to the surviving victim of the shooting, but also emotional and spiritual healing to those greatly affected by the attacks. Remember to uphold our fellow believers as they try to follow the ways of Christ in the midst of trying circumstances. To truly represent Him, they will need His ongoing strength, wisdom, protection and love.

Country Information

Tanzania map & flagPopulation
62,092,761 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Mainland - African (99) (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other (1) (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African

Religion (%)
Christian (63.1), Muslim (34.1), folk religion (1.1), unspecified (1.6)
Note: Zanzibar is almost entirely Muslim

President Samia Suluhu Hassan (2021)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Tanzania

Pray that the gospel will be well received by unreached tribal groups. Ask God to influence government leaders tostand strong against the influence of Islam. Pray that pastors in Zanzibar will continue to stand strong despite efforts to eliminate Christianity.


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Tanzania News

  • Church Faces Order to Close

    Bishop Daniel Kwileba Kwiyeya - Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
    Bishop Daniel Kwileba Kwiyeya
    Photo: Morning Star News

    A Pentecostal church in Kisauni, which is located in Zanzibar (a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania), has been facing pressure from local Muslims about its presence in the community. The annoyed community members lobbied the local authorities, w

  • Church Members' Possessions Taken
    Worship in Tanzania -- VOM USA
    Photo: VOM USA

    A pastor and several church members in a southeastern Tanzanian village had all of their belongings and cash confiscated after refusing to contribute towards a ceremony involving witchcraft. Village leaders, who entertained fears of "curses" being placed upon the area, called upon wit

  • Unlawful Arrests for Cooking During Ramadan

    Tanzanian landscape -- Photo: Pixabay

    On June 16th, three Christians were arrested in Zanzibar for cooking food in a private home during the Ramadan fast. Emmanuel Yohana, his wife Katherine, and a woman identified as Khadija, were arrested at the couple's home. Local police, led by the area district commissioner, forcefully and unlawful

  • Third Church in Recent Burning Spree

    A church being burned in Tanzania.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    Another church in Tanzania's extreme northwest corner was burned to the ground on May 2nd in a suspected arson attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the fire that destroyed the church in Nyarwele, located within the Kagera regio