Tanzania: Gov’t harasses local church leadership
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News)– Three pastors on Tanzania’s Mafia island were summoned by the district registration office last week, confirming fears that the recent government threat to close the island’s churches would soon start.
According to Barnabas Aid, the pastors were to appear before the registration office with the names of their congregations, their birth certificates and their church registration numbers.
Last month, the Minister of Home Affairs had announced he would close any Christian organization that did not comply with Tanzania’s registration requirements. The move was apparently in response to Christian leaders who urged their congregations to oppose a bill introducing Kadhi (Islamic) courts.
Tabled for inclusion into for Tanzania’s new constitution, the bill proposes to implement Kadhi courts for its Muslim population throughout the mainland.
Although the Tanzanian government insists that Kadhi courts could only make rulings on family matters, the bill states that all rulings by Kadhi courts cannot be appealed and will be enforced.