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President of the Tanzania Catholic Bishops Conference condemns the persecution of Christians in Tanzania



The President of the Tanzania Catholic Bishops Conference, the Rt. Rev. Tarcisius Ngalalekumwta, who is also the Bishop of Iringa diocese, has said the attack carried out during the inauguration of the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Arusha archdiocese on 7th this month, was one of the latest in a series of acts of persecution against Christians in Tanzania. Speaking from Iringa on Monday, he said the attackers threw a bomb in the congregation of the faithful who had gathered to witness the opening of the church by the Apostolic nuncio. He noted that in the recent months there have been intimidations against the Church and its leaders through publications, brochures, magazines, DVD, CD and radio. These threats were followed by the burning and looting of churches, attacks and assassinations against some leaders of the Church. He mentioned the killing, in February this year, in Zanzibar, of Fr. Evarist Mushi and the attack on Fr. Ambrose Mkenda in an ambush in December last year. He condemned these acts as barbaric, wild, shameful and unworthy of a Country. Bishop Ngalalekumwta recalled in particular the anti-church propaganda by some radical Muslim leaders who held a meeting on January 15th, 2011, in Dar es Salaam, during which they said Tanzania was governed using Christian principles. The group asked for the closure of the Vatican Embassy in Tanzania. He pointed out that the activities of Islamic radicals show that they want to eradicate Christianity from the country, but unfortunately, the government is helplessly watching the situation. He, however, explained that the Islamic radicals do not represent the majority of Tanzanian Muslims, and called for tolerance of people of other faiths.




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