The brutal murder of a youth Pastor in Tanzania confirms suspicions of an ongoing campaign of Christian persecution in the region and raises concerns over the rise of radical Islamists in East Africa. Two others were also attacked but are recovering.
On 22 October, at around 1am, unknown men stormed into an overnight service of Gilgal Christian Worship Centre in an area known as Pasiansi in the Ilemela district of Mwanza province. The assailants attacked 35-year old youth leader, Elias Lunyamila Meshack, along with two other worshippers, hacking them with machetes.
The Pastor was killed on the spot, while the other two victims were badly injured in the brutal attack. By the first week of November, one of the surviving victims was released from the hospital, while the other was in critical condition but said to be recovering.
‘I don’t think this was robbery because the aim of robbers is to steal money and other items, yet nothing was stolen here!’ said Bishop Eliabu Sentozi, the leader of Gilgal Christian Worship Centre. A police investigation is said to be ongoing, but the case remains unresolved.
Over the past few years, Christians in Tanzania have been victimised by increased incidents of persecution at the hands of radical Muslims. Several pastors and church members have been murdered, while others have suffered acid attacks. Churches have been bombed or burned and property belonging to Christians has been destroyed.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Pray for the comfort and peace of God over Elias’ family.
- Pray that this attack would not stop the meetings of Christians in Mwanza but spur an even greater passion for Christ.
- Pray for the two survivors of this attack to continue to regain their health, both physically and emotionally.