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Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town
Photo: Flickr / David Berkowitz

Christians are said to be "shaken and afraid" after suspected Islamic militants launched attacks on churches in three different locations on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar last month. While Tanzania's population is 54 percent Christian, Zanzibar is more than 97 percent Muslim.

On February 15th, a homemade bomb was thrown at the door of a church building in the Tomondo area near Stone Town. Another bomb was launched at the building the next day. Thankfully, nobody was injured in these attacks.

Later that month, on February 23rd, a bomb exploded near the entrance to a church building in Kijito Upele-Fuoni, outside Zanzibar city, just before the end of a Sunday service. Several people suffered minor injuries. The following day, a device was detonated outside another church in Stone Town. A restaurant located in the tourist area was also targeted.

Attacks on believers have been rising in the area since 2010. Most of the assaults have been attributed to the Islamic political group UAMSHO (Association of Islamic Awareness and Public Discourse), which has been calling for the separation of Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania.

Ask God to fill the Christians in Zanzibar with His peace, praying that they will stand firm in their faith. Thank Him that no one was killed in the bomb blasts. Pray that the officials responding to this recent violence will be granted wisdom. May they commit to protecting all citizens, regardless of their faith. Pray that our Lord will continue His mighty work in Zanzibar, enabling His church to grow in both faithfulness and number.

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