ARICA/TANZANIA - Islamist extremist groups warn Christians: “The coming Easter will be one of disaster”
Geita (Agenzia Fides) – “We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster”; Signed “Muslim Renewal”. Fides was told about a terrifying SMS in Tanzania, received by local bishops and priests , in which Islamist extremists claim responsibility for the murder of the Catholic priest Fr. Evarist Mushi, aged 55 , killed in front of the Catholic cathedral early on Sunday 17 February.
The Catholic Church in Tanzania is concerned and anxious. Reaction has come also from national leaders: Tanzania’s Prime Minister called an immediate meeting with leading members of the Christian and Muslim communities, but the outcome was not positive. Certain Muslim leaders called for the release from prison of the suspected assassins of a local Protestant pastor, Mathew Kachira, killed on 10 February. Local Catholic Church sources told Fides that clearly, behind these attacks and murders lies Islamist extremism spreading across the country.
Fides sources also say that some responsibility falls on Tanzania’s president, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, because during the electoral campaign he promised the Muslim population he would change the Constitution and introduce measures in keeping with Islamic Sharia Law. Today the majority of Tanzanians oppose the plan, but Islamist extremist groups, in reaction, have started a campaign of terror.
The local Catholic Bishop of Geita, Bishop Damiani Denis Dallu, told Fides: “All we desire is peace and unity and love to reign among the citizens of Tanzania, irrespective of religious beliefs”. This is also the desire of other Christian leaders, heads of traditional religions and moderate Muslim leaders. The latter, however, the Bishop told Fides “are afraid because they too are targeted by Islamic extremists”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 18/2/2013
- 2013-09-18 AFRICA/TANZANIA - The conditions of the priest attacked with acid remain serious. "Why is the Church attacked?" asks the Bishop
- 2013-09-16 AFRICA/TANZANIA - The priest attacked with acid in Zanzibar transferred to Dar es Salaam
- 2013-09-03 AFRICA/TANZANIA - The Country commits itself to prohibiting child labor in gold mines
- 2013-05-22 AFRICA/TANZANIA - "The Church is object of persecution but the government does not intervene"
- 2013-05-10 AFRICA/TANZANIA - "Ban on religious hate speech" interfaith commitment after the attack in Arusha
- 2013-05-07 AFRICA/TANZANIA – Attack in Arusha: the testimony of the Apostolic Nuncio to Fides
- 2013-05-06 AFRICA/TANZANIA - "Let us wait to have more information before speaking out about the attack in Arusha"
- 2013-02-26 AFRICA/TANZANIA - Music to promote tolerance, but Christians feel under fire
- 2013-02-20 AFRICA/TANZANIA - Today funeral of Catholic priest killed last Sunday
- 2013-02-18 ARICA/TANZANIA - Islamist extremist groups warn Christians: “The coming Easter will be one of disaster”