"We want the heads of all the church pastors!"

For those that are still upset after the election… here’s proof that maybe it just ain’t so bad here.

(That’s not saying that we’ve got a lot to work on… but let’s put it in perspective.  If you lived in Tanzania, there are people who want your head… literally.)

It all started with a little boy peeing on a copy of the Koran.  Seems his muslim friend was bragging that if someone was to urinate on the Koran that the person would turn into a snake, dog, or rat.  Like any boy up for a challenge, the boy gave it a whiz.

Here’s part of what ensued:

The mob burned down five churches, including the Seven Day Church, the Anglican Church and the Assemblies of God Church, Christians said Other property belonging to Christians in the area was also destroyed including a car belonging to the Anglican Church pastor, according to ICC investigators.

“As the riots continued, the Evangelical Assemblies of God Church in Tanzania was pulled down. In the following days, unrest in the Muslim community continued, leading to the destruction of more properties across the country and the lives of Christian leaders being threatened,” Stark said in a statement obtained by Worthy News.

The violence also spread to Zanzibar, where on October 18, a mob of Muslim protestors carrying clubs, swords and machetes invaded two churches shouting “We want the head of Bishop Shayo” as they tried to enter his Roman Catholic church, Christians claimed.

When they failed to break into the church, the mob moved on to the Anglican church of Reverend. Emmanuel Masoud where the crowd broke windows and were seen hacking at the doors while chanting: “We need the head of Masoud!” and We want the heads of all the church pastors in Zanzibar!”

Pastor Lucian Mgaywa of the Church of God in Zanzibar, said in a statement that, “These chants caused a lot of panic and some pastors, fearing for their lives, fled the island of Zanzibar to the mainland of Tanzania,” though the government later “intervened and provided security.”

How’s that to give you some perspective this morning?


// read more here…


  • JamesBrett November 16, 2012 Reply

    I moved to Tanzania nearly four years ago to do mission work and agriculture development, assuring my family that Tanzania was peaceful. “Tanzania has a long history of peace,” I’d said. “And people groups aren’t so intolerant of one another like we’ve seen (relatively) recently in Rwanda and even Kenya.”

    Much to my dismay, we met my parents-in-law for vacation this year in Zanzibar, and ate our dinners to the music of tear gas grenades and warnings about how we ought to be locked in our hotel rooms.

    I’d like to say, though, that the riots aren’t/weren’t nearly as widespread and/or dangerous as many newspapers and embassy warnings made them out to be.

    Also — if I understand correctly — the riots had much to do with several different issues, and not only the boy who peed on the Koran. Especially in Zanzibar, it seems, much of the noise concerned an (secretly) arrested Muslim cleric who had not yet been shown to be safe or even alive.

  • Dr Glenn Tabor November 16, 2012 Reply

    When we want to pretend our country is not as bad off as we think…we compare our country to a country that is worse than us
    . We need to think deeper. It reminds me of comparing our gasoline prices to European gas prices…Our prices are not as bad as Europe…our country is not as bad as Tanzania. I look at this a little differently. What if we compared out country to our country 25 years ago. We are headed in the wrong direction quickly.

  • Chuck Wilson (@328bear) November 19, 2012 Reply

    I heard those same chants at the last church I pastored in Florida…

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