Zanzibar: Islamists Take Church's Hall

Monday, June 29, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News)-- Islamists on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar off Tanzania's coast have driven a local pastor into hiding after taking over his church's rented hall.

According to Morning Star News, Pastor Philemon's New Covenant Church has shrunk from 100 to 25 members after Muslims "persuaded" the landlord to rent the congregation's worship hall to them before the church's lease was up. What remains of the congregation now rotates among their own homes for worship.

"The church faithful are so scattered," Philemon said. "Some members are always knocking at my door requesting a place for worship."

But on Zanzibar, obtaining land for churches is difficult because the congregation must first purchase it as private property, otherwise the land owners of the Muslim-majority island would never sell it.

Although Tanzania's population is mostly Christian, the Zanzibar archipelago is 97 percent Muslim.