Zanzibar: Islamist hotbed of hate

Friday, June 7, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ZANZIBAR CITY, ZANZIBAR (Worthy News)-- Tanzania, whose population is almost entirely Muslim, has seen a sharp rise in the persecution of Christians, especially on Zanzibar, a small island off Tanzania's east coast where Pastor Dickson's church was attacked on May 26.

"Radical Muslims, who are growing in number in Tanzania, set fire to my church building," Dickson said in an interview with International Christian Concern. "They set fire to all of the chairs, musical equipment and our PA system. They even [burned] our Bibles ..."

Dickson told ICC that this heightened hatred for Christianity came from a growing number of fundamentalist Islamists and other radicals operating in Tanzania, especially on Zanzibar where much of the violence is fueled by separatists who want the island to break away from the mainland.

But attacks against Christians aren't limited to Zanzibar. In February, Pastor Mathayo Kachili and Father Evarist Mushi were murdered on the mainland, after which a threatening text message was sent to many Christian leaders, according to ICC.

"We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches ..."

The texted threat became all too real last month when the opening ceremonies for St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church were abruptly ended after a bomb was tossed from the street into the crowded church.

As a result, many Christians on Zanzibar are afraid to attend church and may soon abandon their island home for safer havens.