RELIGION

The latest developments in the religious differences reported in Bulletin No 45 are as follows:

– followers of the Mount Meru Lutheran Diocese in Arusha have finally agreed with the Government’s decision to disband the rebel Diocese in order to sustain peace in the area;

– the trial of 16 Muslim fundamentalists allegedly involved in the destruction of pork shops (Bulletin 45) continues.

– addressing crowds at the unveiling of a cross to commemorate the 125 years since the first Roman Catholic missionaries stepped ashore at Bagamoyo, Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema said he gave ‘religious divisive elements’ (Muslim fundamentalists) seven days to stop or the police would deal with them.

– ‘Africa Events’ protested (June 1993) that such government actions sidestepped the underlying issue. Muslims claimed that they had been marginalised. A 1983 study had stated that 78% of secondary school students were Christians. At the University another study indicated that from 1986 to 1990 only 13% of students had been Muslims compared with 86% Christians. The present Cabinet had only 8 Muslim Ministers out of 24. The article did not mention that the head of state is a Muslim. It went on to point out that twenty out of 24 Principal Secretaries were Christians.

The rearing of pigs and selling of pork in residential areas was unheard of in the past. Nowadays pigs moved about freely in mixed residential areas. Why had the Government not taken to court persons involved in the Mount Meru Lutheran religious crisis where people had been killed? The Government was wrong to use the big stick of witch-hunting, court actions, restrictions on (Muslim) clerics I freedom of speech …… (The above information comes form a variety of media sources and individuals in Tanzania and Britain Editor).

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