A third church was burned to the ground in north-west Tanzania this month. This, however, has not deterred this congregation from their worship as they have refused to stop meeting.
Barnabas Aid reports that the church pastor, Fortunas Bijura, said that anyone who had thought that destroying their church would prevent them from praying was wrong.
“We have a big tree near the church and will continue meeting there for prayers,” he said.
So far, no group has come forward claiming responsibility for such an attack on the church, and it was the third church to be set on fire since January of this year. Since 2013, there have been over one dozen reported attacks on area churches, as well as attacks on Christians in the area.
Examples of such acts include an incident in February 2013 wherein a pastor was beheaded in Buseresere in north-west Tanzania. Last June, a Christian was killed in Morogoro by a mob of Muslims for openly carrying a Bible, and a Christian family was attacked at home in Kigoma while they prayed.
So far, all of the Christian attacks appear to be linked to two Islamist groups which are Uamsho who desires to create an Islamic state under sharia on Zanzibar, and the other is known as “Muslim Renewal” who reports to have connections to jihadists located in Somalia.
Tanzania has currently been helping to train the Somalian army in fighting against al-Shabaab jihadlists.
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