Back at the end of September, unknown attackers set fire to three churches in northwest Tanzania.
Arsonists destroyed the Living Waters International Church, the Pentecostal Assemblies of God and the Evangelical Assemblies of God Tanzania (EAGT) in Bukoba City, on the shores of Lake Victoria. The church buildings have been destroyed.
“Since 2013, we have had over 13 churches torched here in Kagera and no one has been held accountable,” said Pastor Annette, secretary of the Bukoba Pastors Fellowship. “This is not acceptable. The police tell us they are investigating but we have heard no progress from investigations of previous church arson attacks.”
Open Doors sent representatives to visit and encourage some of the churches that had been attacked and found that, despite the damage, the Christians were standing strong. The Tanzania Missionary Revival Church in Bukoba was torched on 12 March. “We could salvage nothing”, explained Pastor Emmanuel John. “The fire was too intense. We lost everything.”
“That Sunday after the attack, we prayed and worshipped Christ in the midst of the soot and ashes. Today, we continue to hold our services in the burnt-out shell even as we rebuild,” explained Emmanuel.
“It has been very difficult, especially during this past rainy season. The rain and wind made our worship difficult. But we are blessed to see that the congregation numbers did not reduce; instead, more people are coming to join us! Also, the hearts of the people are slowly healing from the trauma and initial anger. That can only be the Lord’s doing.”
Source: Open Doors
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