(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

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.