Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zanzibar Evicts Congregation from Government Building



Officials on Tanzanian island cite ‘renovations,’ but pastor sees pandering to Muslims.
NAIROBI, Kenya, June 22 (CDN) — A pastor in Zanzibar City said his church is without a worship place after government officials, at the instigation of radical Islamists, evicted the congregation from their rented building on Tanzania’s Zanzibar Island off the coast of East Africa.
With just two days’ notice, government officials ordered Christians of the Church of God Zanzibar from their rented government building effective April 19, ostensibly to pave the way for renovations. But two months later, said pastor Lucian Mgayway, no renovation work has begun and none appears to be forthcoming.
The government has not only failed to renovate the building but has since turned it into a business site, Pastor Mgaywa said. The church had been worshipping in the building since October 2000.
In evicting the church from its building in the Kariakoo area of Zanzibar City, Pastor Mgaywa said, the government gave in to partisan demands. “Our being told to vacate the premise by the government was a calculated move to disintegrate the church and to please the Muslims who do not want us to be in this particular area,” he said.

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