Tanzania Court Acquits Christian Evangelists Of ''Illegal Preaching''

Sunday, August 15, 2010

By Worthy News Africa Service

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (Worthy News)-- Two Christian evangelists were free Sunday, August 15, after a court in Tanzania acquitted them of "illegal preaching", trial observers said.

Anglican evangelists Eleutery Kobelo and Cecil Simbaulanga faced 10 months of hearings following their detention in October, 2009.

They were arrested after Muslims invited them to participate in a religious debate at a neutral venue in the Kariakoo area of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city.

The evangelists explained to the court they never faced their opponents but instead  security agents who charged them with "illegal preaching."


Kobelo said in published remarks that "Islamists" apparently called in government security forces who accused of "using religious sermons to incite Muslims and Christians into viewing each other with suspicion."

Christians watching Thursday's trial said Muslims did not show up in court to support their allegation of illegal preaching and that the court therefore closed the case.

"We are grateful that that the court has done justice and made its ruling based on Tanzania’s constitution that allows for freedom of religion and assembly," Kobelo told reporters, adding that Christians around the world had prayed for them.