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Sausage making and news reporting on Zanzibar: GetReligion, February 27, 2014 April 11, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Get Religion, Press criticism, Terrorism.
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Otto von Bismark’s reputed maxim: “Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made …” could be applied to the crafting of a news story.

Most readers do not concern themselves with how a story came to be and accept the finished product of a news story as “the story.” In the age of the internet and declining standards and budgets for the once great news outlets this is not always a wise move.

Now approaching everything one reads with absolute skepticism is a tedious business. There will always be cranks who see the hidden hands of Freemasons, international Jewry or the vast right wing conspiracy lurking behind the text. Readers must balance their skepticism against the trust they have in the publication or author.

If Walter Cronkite said it, it had to be true. If it appears in the National Enquirer it has to be false.

But as history has shown us, the icons of of good and bad journalism, like the sayings everyone knows to be true because we’ve heard them so often, are not always so.Walter Cronkite in his broadcast of Feb 27, 1968 was wrong about the Tet Offensive, the National Enquirer was right about John Edwards in 2007, and Otto von Bismarknever said anything about laws and sausages.

These musings were prompted by a story in the Washington Post from the Religion News Service entitled “Bombs explode Zanzibar calm as religious tensions flare” where RNS bungles the lede.

In the classical Anglo-American style of reporting the lede sentence is where the voice of the author is heard. The lede lays down the tracks that sets the destination for the news train that follows. My instructors in the craft likened the process to organizing a goods train. While the lede gives the destination and names the passengers and freight, the paragraphs that follow are akin to freight cars — each with its own cargo.

Opinions are welcome, but they should be from identifiable third parties, as is analysis, but it should be identified as such. This differs from advocacy reporting where facts are interspersed with opinion throughout a story in order to convince the reader of the merits of the writer’s view.

The RNS story begins:

After months of calm in Zanzibar, two homemade bombs exploded Monday (Feb. 24) near St. Monica Anglican Cathedral and the Mercury restaurant, a popular hangout for tourists visiting the Indian Ocean archipelago.

No one was hurt, but one day earlier, four people were injured in another explosion, targeting an Assemblies of God church.

The article then proceeds to lay out the name of the suspected attackers, offer a comment from the Anglican bishop of the island, and then provide background on past attacks by Islamic militants on Christians and tourists in Zanzibar. These paragraphs are fine, but the lede I find problematic.

A disclaimer — I have visited the cathedral in Zanzibar and know its dean (the priest in charge). This having been said, the name of the cathedral is Christ Church Cathedral. St. Monica’s is the hostel next to the cathedral.

The dean emailed me shortly after the blast with news of the attack stating the bombs exploded at the entrance to the cathedral compound. In 2012 St Monica’s was damaged by a mob of Islamic militants — but this time round it was the cathedral that was attacked.

It might well be the case that the bishop quoted in the article said St Monica’s had been damaged in the blast and this was interpreted by the reporter to mean the cathedral. This is not a fatal error.

What concerns me more, however, is the opening phrase “after months of calm”. The article appears to contradict this assertion by noting an Assemblies of God church was attacked earlier in the week. But if the author means to imply that this attack came out of the blue — and broke a tranquility of the island, then he is seriously misinformed.

There has been an on-going campaign of aggression against native Christians in Zanzibar waged by the Islamic terror group named in the article. Western news sources pick up reports of European tourists, Catholic priests and Anglican cathedrals being attacked, but the harassment of the Christian minority is a daily fact of life.

Setting the direction of the story by implying the bombing of Christ Church Cathedral was an aberration that broke “months of calm” creates a false framework. While this is a wire service story and there is only so much context that can be given — it would have helped explain the story by noting there will be a referendum in April in Zanzibar on Tanzania’s new constitution. The militants want Zanzibar to secede from Tanzania and establish the island as an Islamic republic.

The story would have been improved had RNS tied the political to the religious aspects of this story.

Sausage making photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

First published at GetReligion.

Zanzibar Cathedral attacked by terrorists: The Church of England Newspaper, March 14, 2014 March 20, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism.
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Islamist militants have bombed Christ Church Cathedral in Zanzibar. The attack comes amidst a rise of political and anti-Christian agitation as the East African archipelago prepares to vote in an April referendum calling for independence from Tanzania.

On 24 February 2014 two explosions rocked the main entrance to Christ Church Cathedral and the Old Slave Market – the island’s largest tourist attraction. A tourist bar in Stone Town and a Pentecostal church were also attacked.

The Vicar General of Zanzibar told the Church of England Newspaper there were no fatalities in the blast. “We thank God there were no injuries,” he wrote in an email shortly after the attack.

“Police are investigating and have swept the compound. We are assessing the situation, in contact with multiple agencies and Western government officials. The British Consul was on site almost immediately and a tremendous help to us. The people here are obviously shaken.”
Zanzibar has been the scene of several attacks on native Christians and Western tourists. In October 2012 the cathedral was attacked after militant Islamists rioted in the wake of the disappearance of a leading Muslim cleric.

Anglican leaders were evacuated after Islamist militants issued death threats against Bishop Michael Hafidh and foreign clergy serving on the island. Built on the site of the former slave market of Zanzibar, the Nineteenth century cathedral is one of the island’s leading tourist attractions. It also hosted Dr. Rowan Williams and the primates of the Anglican Communion in 2007.

The Muslim Mobilization and Propagation Group (UAMSHO) has called for the dissolution of the United Republic of Tanzania and the creation of an Islamist state for the island of Zanzibar. UAMSHO cadres have also demanded the expulsion of Zanzibar’s Christians, saying they have no place on the island.
UAMSHO has also been suspected of involvement in a series of shootings and acid attacks on Christians, as well as arson attacks on rural churches on the island.

In August 2013 Islamist terrorists attacked two British teenagers, throwing acid on the girls as they were walking in the Shangani section of Stone Town, the island’s capital.

A Roman Catholic priest was severely injured last September after terrorists threw acid in his face while he was walking along a busy street in the town’s commercial district. A Catholic priest was shot to death while standing at the doorstep of his church in Zanzibar on 17 Feb 2013, while on Christmas Day gunmen shot and seriously wounded a Catholic priest as he was returning home from services.

 

EU Grant for Zanzibar cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, October 18, 2013 October 27, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, EU.
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Christ Church Cathedral in Zanzibar has been awarded a grant by the EU to build a heritage and education centre on the cathedral’s precincts to commemorate the abolition of slavery.

Construction on the coral stone Gothic cathedral began in 1873 on the site of Zanzibar’s old slave market, with the altar located on the spot of the slave market’s whipping post. Consecrated in 1903 the church has a barrel vault cement roof and incorporates perpendicular Gothic and Islamic architectural details.

Funds from the EU grant, supported by the U.S. State Department and the Governments of Tanzania and Zanzibar, will also go towards the material upkeep and repair of the cathedral.. The project will also provide heritage management training to the Wakf commission, which administers Islamic institutions on the island and is responsible for over 50 per cent of the historic housing stock in Stone Town, the island’s capital.

The project will be implemented by World Monuments Fund and its partners, the Anglican Church of Tanzania, the Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society and the UK charity Christian Engineers in Development.

“Our hope is that the preservation and promotion of this historical site in Zanzibar will fuel a sense of common belonging for the Zanzibari people and of ownership of their cultural heritage; it should contribute to building national identity in the diversity, tolerance and solidarity between faiths, communities and peoples.” said the EU Ambassador to Tanzania, Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi.

 

Acid attack on British girls in Zanzibar: The Church of England Newspaper, August 16, 2013 p 6. August 25, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Suspected Islamist terrorists have attacked two British teenagers in Zanzibar, throwing acid on the two girls as they were walking in the Shangani section of Stone Town, the island’s capital.

Speculations as to the motive for the attack are rife. The girls are members of a Zionist youth group and may have been targeted for being Jewish, or the assault may have arisen due to their work at an Anglican school on the island, or could have arisen from their breach of the prohibitions of Ramadan practiced in the majority Muslim country.

Sheikh Issa Ponda, a leader of an Islamist extremist group in Zanzibar, has been detained by police for questioning.

On 8 August 2013 the Zanzibari government released a statement denouncing the attack and offering a reward for information. “The event is a great tragedy, and an attack of this nature against a foreign citizen, has never happened here before,” it said, adding this was a “serious incident” that had “damaged the reputation of a peaceful and stable Zanzibar. The attack is unacceptable and could affect our tourism industry – which is a major economic driver in Zanzibar.”

On the evening of 7 August 2013 at the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, and as Muslim’s began to celebrate the Eid holiday, Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee of Hampstead, were walking in an area popular with tourists, when two men on a motorbike road up beside them. The passenger on the motor bike threw acid on the girls, severely burning their faces, arms and shoulders. The girls were airlifted to Dar es Salaam for medical treatment and have since returned to England.

The Jewish Chronicle reports the two girls are members of the Federation for Zionist Youth, prompting speculation they were attacked for being Jews. However, the girls were also volunteers at St Monica’s Anglican school on the precincts of Christ Church Cathedral and could have been singled out as Christians.

The vicar-general of the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar told The Church of England Newspaper the girls were not sponsored by the diocese or a mission agency. A missionary in Zanzibar told CEN the attack was likely due to the girl’s violation of the strictures of Ramadan.

“Apparently the two girls had several altercations in Stone Town before this incident. They got themselves on the radar screen” of the island’s Islamist extremists.  They had an argument with a shop keeper and were “slapped” by a Muslim women for singing during Ramadan.

Our source stated “The problem with coming on their own and not being with a team of locals. Bad idea. While Stone Town is “touristy” it’s, ironically, the headquarters for the radical/separatist movement and opposition party. So it’s not a good place to be hanging if you don’t have friends and don’t know what you’re doing.”

Anglican Unscripted Episode 78, August 9, 2013 August 10, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican.TV, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
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Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

STORY INDEX:

Silly Story Month 00:00
News from Sydney 08:06
Egypt and Zanzibar 12:06
AS Haley 18:03
Peter Ould 32:42
Closing and Outtakes 40:51

New archbishops across the Anglican Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, June 30, 2013 p 7 June 28, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico.
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Archbishop Francisco Manuel Moreno

The Anglican churches in Mexico and Papua New Guinea have elected new primates, while the primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has re-elected to a second term.

The Anglican Communion news service reports that on 14 June the provincial Council of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea elected Rt. Rev. Clyde Igara, Bishop of the Dogura, to serve as primate and archbishop of the province. He succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kopapa who retired last year. As metropolitan of the church Archbishop Igara will not have diocesan responsibilities and a new Bishop of the Dogura is expected to be elected shortly.

The website of La Iglesia Anglicana de México last week announced that on 14 June 2013 the VII General Synod meeting in Mexico City elected the Rt. Rev. Francisco Manuel Moreno as primate and archbishop of the province. Bishop Moreno will continue to serve as Bishop of the Diócesis del Norte de México and succeeds Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter of Mexico City whose term of office expired.

The VI General Synod of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and Macao, meeting 2-5 June re-elected Archbishop Paul Kwong to a second six year term. ACNS reports that in other business the Synod endorsed the Anglican Covenant — a document championed by former Archbishop Rowan Williams to set the bounds of Anglican doctrine and discipline, but received with little enthusiasm by large parts of the communion.

On 19 May 2013 the Anglican Church of Tanzania enthroned Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya as archbishop and primate of the East African Church after a fierce internal dispute. On 21 Feb 2013 Archbishop Chimeledya defeated the incumbent Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa in an election for a five-year term as primate.

Supporters of Archbishop Mokiwa charged the new Archbishop’s election had been fraudulently obtained and claimed that American money and had been used to bribe bishops and diocesan deputations. Members of the election Synod filed a complaint with the church, but the canons of the Anglican Church of Tanzania did not foresee this situation and no legal remedy was available to the Mokiwa camp.

Both sides in the dispute engaged attorneys and Archbishop Mokiwa’s camp were prepared to file a civil lawsuit and seek an injunction blocking the installation. However the archbishop’s indecision of over which firm of attorneys to use in the lawsuit, the cost of pursuing the lawsuit, and his reluctance to state publicly what he was saying privately to his supporters led to a collapse in his support.

The faction that opposed Archbishop Mokiwa, drawn primarily from members of the Gogo tribe, declined to support financially the national church under his tenure as Archbishop. With power shifting to the Gogo tribe whose members include the archbishop, dean, general secretary, and registrar of the province, Mokiwa supporters tell The Church of England Newspaper they expect the province will remain paralyzed.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 72, May 18, 2013 May 18, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican.TV, Church of England, Church of Nigeria, The Episcopal Church.
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Episode 72 of Anglican Unscripted brings even more news about the Anglican Church (Communion) around the world. Kevin and George talk about stories from Tanzania and Nigeria, who are dealing with internal conflict and Muslim-on-Christian violence.

It is also time to give an update on the Temporary Same Sex Liturgies the Episcopal Church passed at General Convention last year and who is using them and who is not.
AS Haley updates all the major legal cases around the country and discusses the late breaking news from The Falls Church.

Peter Ould talks about the growing conflict and investigation in Jersey. It is hard to tell if the biggest issue is jurisdiction or lack of trasparency.
Finally, in the blooper real at the end of the episode (after the credits) one of our contributors reveals a hidden talent. #AU72 Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com

Christians under fire in Zanzibar: The Church of England Newspaper, March 17, 2013, p 6. March 24, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Islam, Persecution.
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The Bishop of Dar es Salaam’s home has come under assault, church leaders report.

Bishop Bill Atwood writes: “On 2:45 on Sunday morning, an armed gang attacked Archbishop Valentino [Mokiwa]’s home. Most bishops in that part of the world have watchmen either from the Massai or Hehe tribes who serve as guards. That was the case at Archbishop Valentino’s home as well. His Hehe watchman was captured by armed men who cut through the wire fence. The watchman valiantly fought back crying out. The men with guns cut him severely with machetes (called pandas there), but fled. Archbishop Valentino and his wife and children were inside the house. It is clear that great evil was intended.”

The 10 March 2013 attack follows last month’s murder of Catholic priest Evarist Mushi, who was shot and killed by two gunmen on the steps of his church. A second Catholic priest, Fr. Ambrose Mkenda suffered gunshot wounds in an attempt on his life on Christmas Day while moderate Muslim cleric Sheikh Fadhil Suleiman Soraga was attacked with acid in November. Several churches have been burned over the past few weeks and on the mainland a Pentecostal minister was beheaded by Muslim extremists.

President Jakaya Kikwete’s move to invite foreign investigators to help local police thoroughly investigate the killings has been applauded by Zanzibar’s chief mufti, who has called on the government to actively investigate the targeting of religious leaders in Zanzibar, Tanzania’s Guardian newspaper reported on 4 March.  (March 4th).

Sheikh Thabit Noman Jongo said the terror attacks, believed to have been carried out by al Qaeda-linked groups, violate Islamic principles. “According to the Holy Koran, it is not allowed to take life of another person without any reason … experts should dig more to find the source of these acts,” he said.

Tanzania’s Daily News reported that leaflets calling for Christians to fight back were being distributed over the weekend. “We Christians of Zanzibar and people from the mainland living in the islands have decided to organise ourselves to retaliate,” the leaflet said, according to the Daily News. “It is high time we hit back.”

Bishop Michael Hafidh and Catholic Bishop Augustine Shao condemned the leaflets and their content, and urged Christians not to return evil for evil.

Note: This article has been corrected following its first publication to state the attack was on the home of Archbishop Mokiwa, not Bishop Hafidh.

Tanzania Church rocked by complaints over election: The Church of England Newspaper, March 17, 2013 p 7. March 24, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Three complaints have been lodged with the Anglican Church of Tanzania (KAT) by members of the church’s general synod alleging misconduct and fraud in the conduct of last month’s election of an archbishop.

Lay and clergy delegates from 8 coastal dioceses are expected to join the complaints alleging misconduct. Both sides accused the other of using foreign money to influence the outcome of the election however no evidence has thus far been presented.

On 3 March 2013 Dr Dickson Chilongani, Provincial Secretary of the KAT, released a statement announcing the election of the Rt. Rev. Jacob Erasto Chimeledya “as the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania.”

He stated “the bishops welcomed the election result, some describing Chimeledya as a ‘humble’ [servant leader] who will strengthen unity within the Anglican Church of Tanzania and enhance its mission.”

The statement said the “election was carried out by a special Electoral Synod which consisted of bishops, pastors and lay people numbering 129 in total. After the election all the 25 bishops present (except two who are studying in South Africa) expressed their support to bishop Chimeledya’s election by signing a legal document to endorse the results. Bishop elect Jacob Chimeledya will succeed Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa after his installation on 19th May 2013.”

However supporters of the sitting archbishop, Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam, have objected to the vote. A 27 Feb 2013 complaint seen by the Church of England Newspaper has alleged eight constitutional irregularities in the voting, including the casting of four more ballots than electors present. While the House of Bishops may have endorsed the election, critics charge, the Lay and Clergy Houses of Synod have not.

They have also claimed that $50,000 of American money was used to buy votes of the Wogogo – the tribal group – for Bishop Chimeledya. Supporters of the ousted Archbishop say the cash was used by supporters of the Episcopal Church to split the KAT off from Gafcon movement.

Supporters of Bishop Chimeledya have rejected these charges, saying Archbishop Mokiwa’s interpretation of the canons is incorrect and tendentious, while it was he who had sought to influence the election with cash.  Archbishop Mokiwa one was seeking to use his post as a Gafcon primate to distort the dispute by convincing supporters in the West his defeat was engineered by foreigners rather than local political considerations.

Copies of the complaints have appeared in the Swahili Tanzanian press, and a rebuttal is expected to be released shortly by Bishop Chimeledya.

Fraud charges levelled in Tanzania archbishop’s election: The Church of England Newspaper, March 3, 2013, p 7. March 23, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Archbishop-elect Jacobo Chimeledya of Tanzania

Allegations of misconduct have been leveled following last week’s election of the Rt. Rev. Jacobo Chimeledya as Archbishop of Tanzania. Supporters of Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa have claimed American money influenced the outcome of the election and allege the vote was marred by fraud.

However, supporters of the archbishop-elect have denied the charges of misconduct, claiming that it was Archbishop Mokiwa who used foreign money to secure support from the electors. Archbishop Mokiwa did not respond to request for comments while the archbishop-elect could not be reached as of our going to press.

Meeting in Dar es Salaam on 21 February 2013 a special synod was convened to elect an archbishop and primate. Under the church’s constitution a diocesan bishop who is less than 60 years of age may stand for election for the five year position and if elected may be re-elected for a second five year term. In 2007 the synod elected the Bishop of Dar es Salaam Valentino Mokiwa, who last year announced his intention to seek re-election.

Unofficial reports of the meeting state that after three rounds of voting Bishop Chimeledya secured a majority of the 129 delegates’ votes.

Born on 28 August 1957 in Zoisa, Kongwa province, Tanzania, Bishop Chimededya earned a degree in Health Administration at Mzumbe University in 1992 and began his theological training at St Paul’s Theological College, Limuru Kenya. He was ordained a deacon in 1996 and priest in 1997, and in 2003 he received a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

At the time of his election as bishop-coadjutor of Mpwapwa in 2005, Bishop Chimeledya was the Principal of St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa and Canon of All Saints Cathedral, Mpwapwa.  In 2007 he succeeded Bishop Simon Chiwanga as Bishop of Mpwapwa.

However, the Church of England Newspaper has learned that a complaint has been drawn up that alleges 8 constitutional violations in the election process including the casting of three more ballots in the election than the number of eligible electors.

Supporters of Archbishop Mokiwa have accused the Episcopal Church of buying the votes of some delegates and flipping the election to Bishop Chimeledya in order to pull the Tanzanian church out of the global south coalition backing the Anglican Church in North America.

However, the source of the American Episcopal money has not been identified as having come from the national church offices in New York. Several American dioceses and parishes have relations with the Tanzania church. Opponents of the archbishop, however, claim that he was the bearer of foreign cash donated by the Anglican Church in North America and the Episcopal Church that was used to buy votes.

The Tanzanian church has been divided into tribal factions, a split between Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals, and a regional divide between the coast and the interior. Archbishop Mokiwa has been unable to consolidate his support among the House of Bishops, several of whose members have voiced their unhappiness with his leadership.

A returned missionary told CEN it is likely that both sides accepted money from American sources, but this would not likely change the outcome of the vote. “Tanzanians are generally cynical about money from the West:  take it if offered, but then go about your business as you think best.”  He added that in his opinion the dispute “probably doesn’t have much to do with larger Communion issues, if at all.”

Barring legal action the new archbishop will be installed in May at a service at the Anglican Cathedral in Dodoma.

Additional Complaints Filed in Tanzania: Anglican Ink, March 7, 2013 March 7, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Ink, Corruption, GAFCON, The Episcopal Church.
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Three complaints have been lodged with the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) by members of the church’s general synod alleging misconduct and fraud in the conduct of last month’s election of an archbishop.

On 3 March 2013 Dr Dickson Chilongani, Provincial Secretary of the ACT, released a statement announcing the election of the Rt. Rev. Jacob Erasto Chimeledya “as the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania.”

However supporters of the sitting archbishop, Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam, cried foul. A 27 Feb 2013 complaint seen by AI has alleged eight constitutional irregularities in the voting, including the casting of four more ballots than electors present. The claim put forward by Dr. Chilongani was ingenuous, they added, stating that while the House of Bishops may have endorsed the election, the Lay and Clergy Houses of Synod had not.

Read it all in Anglican Ink

New archbishop for Tanzania: Anglican Ink, February 22, 2013 February 22, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Ink.
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The Archbishop of Tanzania was rebuffed yesterday in his bid for a second five year term as the Bishop of Mpwapwa, the Rt. Rev. Jacobo Chimeledya, was elected primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Muslim extremists attack Zanzibar’s Anglican Cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, October 28, 2012 p 6. October 30, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Islam, Persecution, Terrorism.
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Ponda Issa Ponda

Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar came under assault last week after militant Islamists rioted in the wake of the disappearance of a leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed.

The Muslim Mobilization and Propagation Group (UAMSHO) has been calling for the dissolution of the United Republic of Tanzania and the creation of an Islamist state for the island of Zanzibar.  UAMSHO cadres have also demanded the expulsion of Zanzibar’s Christians, saying they have no place on the island.  In July two rural Pentecostal churches were attacked by Islamist extremists and attacks on Christians have been reported across the island.

On the morning of 16 October 2012 Sheikh Ahmed was seen getting into a car driven by an unidentified man.  UAMSHO reported his disappearance to the police soon after.

Police Commander Said Juma told the Dar es Salaam Daily News the police had not arrested Sheikh Ahmed and “immediately we started to investigate.”

“Unfortunately as the investigation continues, youths started demonstrating by blocking streets with stones, garbage and burning tyres.” He reported a leisure centre was destroyed by fire and riot police deployed to the old city area of Stone Town.

Anglican leaders were warned to evacuate as Islamist militants had issued death threats against Bishop Michael Hafidh and foreign clergy serving on the island.  Unconfirmed reports from Stone Town sent to Dar es Salaam report militants had attacked the cathedral after the bishop was evacuated and attempted to burn the coral stone building.  Built on the sight of the former slave market of Zanzibar, the Nineteenth century cathedral is one of the island’s leading tourist attractions.  It also hosted Dr. Rowan Williams and the primates of the Anglican Communion in 2007.

Four days after leaving the island, the bishop and the evacuated clergy were able to return to their homes.  One priest told the Church of England Newspaper that although his car had been vandalized his home appeared untouched, as the army was patrolling the streets and had restored order.  As of our going to press, no reports have been released on the condition of the cathedral.

Riot police were also deployed in the Central Business District of the capital Dar es Salaam last week after militants marched on the Central Police Station demanding the release of Mr. Ponda Issa Ponda, the Secretary of the Council of Muslims’ Organizations.

Mr. Ponda had been arrested on 16 Oct after threatening President Jakaya Kikwete.  The Muslim leader had issued an ultimatum to the government calling upon it to release members of his organization arrested last week for their involvement in a sectarian riot sparked by claims a 14-year old Christian boy had urinated on a Koran.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 54, October 26, 2012 October 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Anglican.TV, Canon Law, Church of England, Church of Nigeria, Church of North India, Church of South India, Fort Worth, Persecution, Zimbabwe.
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In this weeks episode Kevin and George bring an update on the Diocese of South Carlina and their separation from the Episcopal Church. Also this week they talk about Women’s Ordination and the new task force created by the Anglican Church in North America. And what episode would be complete without news from one of the broken Anglican “Instruments of Unity”. Peter talks about the reality of Women Bishops in England and Allen Haley guildes the viewer thru the Kangaroos courts found in Title IV. Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com #AU54

What’s happening in Zanzibar: Get Religion, October 18, 2012 October 19, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Get Religion, Persecution, Press criticism.
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It’s been about five years since I was last in Zanzibar. I was part of the press gaggle accompanying the archbishops of the Anglican Communion on a day trip from the mainland to Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town — the island’s principal town. Built over 125 years ago on the site of the old slave market (the altar was built atop the sight of the market’s whipping post) the picturesque coral stone cathedral is a monument to the British suppression of the slave trade. Zanzibar had been the entrepôt for slaves captured on the mainland before they were shipped north to the Arab world.

Zanzibar was a welcome diversion from the rather limited delights of Dar es Salaam, and I have followed and reported on the news from the island — part of the Republic of Tanzania — ever since. My knowledge of the island and its history has grown from a vague idea it was connected with Freddie Mercury and a Bob Hope movie. I have also come to know the Anglican bishop of the island and am a “Facebook friend” with one of his clergy.

Hence this story from Reuters caught my eye. Through Facebook posts I was aware of the situation on the island and was waiting to see what would come across the wires.

The 18 Oct 2012 story begins:

STONE TOWN, Zanzibar (Reuters) – Supporters of a separatist Islamist group in Zanzibar looted shops and fought with police on Thursday after their leader disappeared, witnesses said, the third outbreak of violence this year on the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Supporters of Sheikh Farid Hadi, a leader of the Islamic Uamsho (Awakening) movement who has not been seen since Tuesday, threw stones at police, blocked roads with cut-down trees and burned tyres in the island’s main town. “Police are everywhere and firing teargas. There is nobody around town and the shops are closed. It’s a terrible situation,” Said Salleh, 40, a businessman from Zanzibar, told Reuters by phone.

Witnesses said protesters looted shops and video footage showed a number of rioters holding machetes and hiding their faces with balaclavas. Heavily armed police stepped up patrols late on Thursday and continued to engage in sporadic battles with rioters in Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town. “The streets are deserted … Only heavily armed policemen are now patrolling the town. We are afraid to go out, we can still hear the sound of gunfire,” Rukiya Khalifa, a resident of the historic Stone Town area, told Reuters.

The latest violence raised concerns of an escalation in religious tension in the predominantly Muslim island which is part of Tanzania but ruled by a semi-autonomous secular government.

The article continues with background information on the political roots of the discontent, statements from police and government leaders, and closes with this sentence:

In May Uamsho supporters set fire to two churches and clashed with police over the arrest of senior members of the movement.

What struck my eye as I read this story was a suspicion that the dateline for this story was incorrect. At the foot of the story a note states the reporting took place from Dar es Salaam, with additional reporting taking place at other locations. The language of the story, “told Reuters by phone” and  “video footage showed” strongly suggests this report was not written from Stone Tone in Zanzibar as the dateline states, but elsewhere.

Reporters cannot be everywhere and there is nothing wrong with basing stories upon telephone interviews, government press statements, and video footage. But I question the wisdom of leading with the Stone Town claim, for if the reporter were writing from the island, I wonder why he would have omitted the news that Christ Church Cathedral was attacked by Uamsho militants, some Christians have gone into hiding for fear of their lives, and the Bishop of Zanzibar and some of his clergy were evacuated by plane from the island.

I am not in Stone Town and my knowledge of the above comes from telephone and Facebook communications from those who witnessed the riots and have fled the island — one fellow saying he and his family left house and car, dog and cat behind and wondering what he will find when he is permitted to return. Nor do I know the fate of the Roman Catholic bishop of Zanzibar or if militants attacked St Joseph’s Cathedral.

While the Reuters piece closes with a mention of the past church burnings, there is no sense in this story that the militant outrage over the arrest of their leader by police is expressed in attacks on a small and vulnerable Christian minority. Is it that after reports of pogroms and persecution of Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia the Sudan, Nigeria, and Kenya in recent weeks, another church burning does not warrant more than a brief mention? I am also uneasy about the lack of context for this story. I will concede that context is a rare thing in a wire service story where a reporter must squeeze as much as he can into 400 words or less. But omitting the over arching place of radical Islam in the story does leave the piece unfinished.

At the same time, I am writing from the safety of the U.S. and am not of interest to the East German-trained security services of Zanzibar nor subject to the country’s press laws. There is no danger of my prattling on about persecution as I am safe from it. Tell me GetReligion readers, where does the balance lie? How much can be told? How much should be told? Can a story be shaded to claim it was written on sight, but remove the clues that would give a malevolent eye a hint as to who was talking? What say you?

First printed at Get Religion.

Creeping Pentecostalism charges laid against bishop: The Church of England Newspaper, September 23, 2012 p September 23, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop Boniface Kwangu of Victoria Nyanza, Tanzania

An affinity for Pentecostal-style worship has landed the Bishop of the Tanzanian Diocese of Victoria Nyanza in hot water with his clergy.  Twenty four priests and deacons – a majority of the clergy of his diocese – have endorsed an open letter calling for the Rt. Rev. Boniface Kwangu to resign.

In a statement released on 9 Sept 2012 in Mwanza, the see city of the diocese, the clergy charged the bishop with introducing glossolalia and other Pentecostal-charismatic practices into the Eucharist service. Evangelized by the Universities Mission to Central Africa, Western Tanzania has traditionally been an Anglo-Catholic stronghold in Africa and the province is one of the few in Africa that has declined to ordain women clergy.

Bishop Kwangu declined to comment, saying he was up country at present and had not seen the letter.

First printed in the Church of England Newspaper.

Jihad fears for Zanzibar: The Church of England Newspaper, June 17, 2012 p 5. June 18, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Islam, Persecution, Terrorism.
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Church leaders in Tanzania report the government has cracked down on Islamist extremists following two days of rioting in Zanzibar.

Members of the Islamist militant group Uamsho — the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation – took to the streets on 28-29 May 2012 in protest to the arrest their leaders by police.  Emails received from clergy in Zanzibar report that militants clashed with police and burned two Christian churches, shutting down Stone Town — the central business and tourist district of Zanzibar.

In a letter printed on 2 June 2012 in the Guardian of Dar es Salaam, three Zanzibari Christian leaders, Bishop Augustino Shayo of the Catholic Church, Bishop Michael Hafidh of the Anglican Church and Pentecostal Pastor Timothy Philemon of the Pentecostal Church, warned that Muslim fanatics were plotting to destroy all churches and church related buildings – schools, convents, cemeteries and heath centers on the island.  Members of their churches were receiving mobile text messages warning them to leave the island or face death.

The Indian Ocean archipelago of about 1 million people merged with mainland Tanganyika in 1964 to form the modern Tanzania, but Zanzibar retains its own president and parliament. Tanzania is set to introduce a new constitution in 2014, and Uamsho has urged voters to push for dissolution of the union with Tanganyika.

After meeting with government ministers on 31 May 2012, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa read a statement to the press on behalf of the country’s Christian leaders.  “Our followers are living in fear, because of what happened to our churches some few days,” the Anglican archbishop said, adding “there is also displeasure, on the part [of Christians] over government inaction and failure to take those responsible to court,” he said.

“This is not the first time” he noted, stating that “25 churches have been burned so far in different parts of Zanzibar, and the government is quiet, despite the initiatives taken to report the incidents to the police. We don’t know who should bear the blame.”

The archbishop, who is also chairman of the Tanzanian council of churches, added that government inaction had created the “impression that these acts have government blessing.”

“The government is duty-bound to extensively trace them and bring them to book – in order to restore public trust and confidence in the government,” he said.

Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein responded on 1 June saying his government was “conducting a thorough assessment before taking necessary measures, including the possibility of compensation.”

Speaking to the press, Dr. Shein said the government had banned unauthorized religious meetings, assemblies and demonstrations as a threat to public order.  “We will not allow the peace and harmony created by the National Unity Government to be threatened by a few individuals who are using a religious umbrella” to shelter their political ambitions.

An Anglican clergyman who asked not to be named for fear of retribution from extremists told CEN the dispute appears to have died down. Zanzibar “is always fragile and relations between the ruling Muslims and religious minorities touchy,” he said.

“It doesn’t help for the media in general to exaggerate and sensationalize” as it “puts more pressure on the Christians” which “can really cause problems.”

The roots of the current dispute, he said were political.  Opposition leaders want an independent Zanzibar.   “They’re being particularly problematic during this time of constitutional review,” he clergyman said, adding that at present “Christian leaders are asking for the protections promised by the president” of Zanzibar.

Dr. Shein “has always been a public advocate for religious freedom and was very gracious in his speech last month at the consecration of the new Anglican bishop.”

However, the “situation generally is stable now everything is calm [with] things moving as usual” sources in Zanzibar report.  The government has intervened “and they are dealing accordingly with the Muslim group which caused the riot.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Jihad warnings for Zanzibar: Anglican Ink, June 6, 2012 June 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Ink, Terrorism.
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Bishop Michael Hafidh of Zanzibar (left) and Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania (right)

Church leaders in Tanzania have called for prompt government action following two days of rioting by Muslim extremists in Zanzibar.

The Tanzanian press reports that over one hundred members of the Islamist militant group Uamsho — the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation – took to the streets on 28-29 May 2012 in protest to the arrest their leaders. Militants have clashed with police and burned two Christian churches, shutting down Stone Town — the central business and tourist district of Zanzibar.

Police said they had arrested 30 members of Uamsho, but the organization disclaimed responsibility. “The Uamsho association … is not involved in any acts of breach of peace. We would like to urge all Muslims and Zanzibaris to continue to maintain peace and tranquility in the country,” it said in a statement published in the media.

However in a letter printed on 2 June 2012 in the Guardian of Dar es Salaam, three Zanzibari Christian leaders, Bishop Augustino Shayo of the Catholic Church, Bishop Michael Hafidh of the Anglican Church and Pentecostal Pastor Timothy Philemon of the Pentecostal Church, said Muslim fanatics were plotting to destroy all churches and church related buildings – schools, convents, cemeteries and heath centers on the island. Members of their churches were receiving mobile text messages warning them to leave the island or face death.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

East African archbishops’ New Year’s plea for integrity: The Church of England Newspaper, January 6, 2012 p 6. January 8, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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Anglican leaders in East Africa have marked the start of the New Year with a call for the political and moral reformation of their countries.

In a sermon preached on New Year’s Day at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukhala warned Kenyans not to heed the claims of those who say higher salaries would solve the country’s woes.  While a living wage was essential for all workers, the government should first address wide spread corruption and fraud.  If a strong and moral civil society existed that did not tolerate corruption, the economy would grow, new jobs would be created and society as a whole would benefit.

Archbishop Wabukhala also urged Kenyans to set aside tribalism and seek what was best for the commonweal.  “Let us learn from Ghana where the current President beat his rival by a mere 40,000 votes, the opponent accepted the results and today Ghana is peaceful and moving on as one united country,” the archbishop said.

“It is my hope that we have learnt from the past as portends election years and that this year will be different,” he said.  If not, the country could be pushed once more to the brink of anarchy, Archbishop Wabukhala said.

In his New Year’s Day address, the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi said Uganda’s suffering was a consequence of its sin.

Speaking at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Namirembe, Archbishop Orombi said Ugandans were in need of spiritual regeneration. “Corruption and greed is embedded in us right from childhood,” he said, adding that even those who stole found it could not satisfy their base instincts.

“The heart is deceitful. The human heart is a liar, corrupt and greedy and it is beyond cure. Only God can heal it,” he said.

But if the nation turned to Christ there was hope. “It is this hope that will heal us and this hope can start by us blaming ourselves for all the wrong actions that have impacted on our nation.”

The Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Valentino Mokiwa urged his countrymen to follow the path of righteous also.

“As we embark on the New Year, I would like to stress that the precondition for attaining a prosperous 2012 for every Tanzanian irrespective of their religious, tribal, political or any other affiliations, is to strive for integrity. Integrity is the ladder that will lead us to whatever our dreams are.”

“It is the best tool of achieving social, economic and cultural progress,” Archbishop Mokiwa said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Archbishop calls for government to return nationalised schools: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 28, 2011 p 7. October 30, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church News, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Education, Mission Societies/Religious Orders.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa has urged a leading candidate for president to promise to return to the church mission schools nationalized by the government.

Speaking at a school fundraising event on 24 Oct 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Mokiwa asked Edward Lowassa MP to return the schools if he wins the presidency.  Elections are scheduled in the east African nation in 2015 to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete.  While Mr. Lowassa has not formally announced his candidacy, he is considered a front runner for the post.

Following independence in 1961, church schools received financials support from the government as long as they followed the Department of Education’s national curriculum.  Government policies changed, however, following the promulgation of the Arusha Declaration on 5 Feb 1967 by President Julius Nyerere.  The Arusha Declaration outlined the principles of Ujamaa — African socialism — and called for the overhaul of the economic system and self-reliance in locally administered villages through a villagization programme.

The villagization programme, implemented between 1973 and 1976, created a collective farming system through the resettlement of peasants who lived and worked their own land onto new villages that could provide economies of scale.  The programme also saw a push towards self-reliance in industry and education.  In 1974 the government nationalized private primary schools established by the Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran churches, and forced many missionary school teachers to leave the country.

African socialism proved to be an economic and education catastrophe for Tanzania, and in the 1980’s the government permitted new private schools to be opened.  The government’s failure to maintain the confiscated schools and its disinclination to invest in education has led to a boom in private school enrollment, according to a UN report, such that over half of all students in Tanzania are now privately educated.

In his speech to kick off the fundraising drive for the Bishop John Sepeku School in the Yombo Buza district of Dar es Salaam, Archbishop Mokiwa asked the political leader to pledge to return the schools.  “If you are blessed to win the presidency, please make sure that you return former church-owned schools to us… there are many properties belonging to the churches that were taken over by the government,” said Dr Mokiwa according to local press reports.

The Anglican Church in Tanzania has urged the government to return its confiscated schools, arguing that it is able to educate more children at a higher standard for less cost than the government.

The nationalization campaign had scarred many people, Dr. Mokiwa said, and it was now time to set politics aside for the good of the nation and support the best interests of children.

Archbishop’s arrest warrant quashed: The Church of England Newspaper, July 8, 2011 p 6. July 8, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Court of Appeal in Dar es Salaam has quashed an arrest warrant for the Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT), Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa.

The Citizen newspaper of Dar es Salaam reported on 3 July that Chief Justice Mohamed Othman Chande had set aside a warrant issued by Arusha District Justice Kakusulo Sambo. The case has been removed to the High Court in Dar es Salaam, The Church of England Newspaper has learned, and the warrant suspended pending a full review of the case.

On 13 June the High Court in Arusha issued a bench warrant for Dr Mokiwa for contempt of court, after prosecutors claimed the Archbishop ignored a court order blocking the consecration of the Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro. The election of Stanley Hotay has been a source of controversy within the ACT, and has served as a proxy war for the wider divisions within the Anglican Communion combined with a heady mix of tribal and personal jealousies.

The Diocese elected the Mr Hotay bishop of the northern Tanzanian diocese on 15 April. Supporters of the unsuccessful candidate filed a complaint with the High Court in Arusha asking the election be set aside. They claimed Mr Hotay was not yet 40, the minimum age for a bishop in Tanzania.

Justice Sambo issued a restraining order shortly before the scheduled consecration, directing the Church not to consecrate Mr Hotay as Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, on 12 June the Archbishop consecrated Mr Hotay to the episcopate, but did not install him as bishop of the Diocese.

The judge responded by issuing a warrant of arrest for the Archbishop, stating: “What the respondent, including Bishop Valentino Mokiwa, did is clear contempt of court.”

The general secretary of the ACT, Dr Dickson Chilongani said the consecration service did not violate the injunction. The consecration of Bishop Hotay was to episcopal office, but did not confer jurisdiction upon the new bishop. “What we did was to consecrate him as a new bishop… as of now he does not belong to any diocese,” said Dr Chilongani.

The judge defending issuing a criminal arrest warrant for the Archbishop writing he was aware the Archbishop was “not party to this case and application” but his actions led to the “disobeying a lawful order.”

The Arusha arrest warrant has come under sharp public criticism in Tanzania, prompting editorials in local newspapers decrying what they see as abuse of power by the local court. Under Tanzanian law, section 4.3 of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act (1974), the Court of Appeal may examine the record of any proceedings before subordinate courts “for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness and legality of any finding, order or any other decision.”

The matter will now be reviewed de novo by the Court of Appeal in Dar es Salaam.

Anglican Report with George Conger and Kevin Kallsen from Long Beach, CA broadcast June 25, 2011 June 26, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Interviews/Citations, The Episcopal Church.
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AnglicanTV Ministries

The news from the ACNA Provincial Assembly in Long Beach, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, Archbishop Rowan Williams, and Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa arrest threat all in one report.

Church politics behind archbishop’s arrest warrant: The Church of England Newspaper, June 24, 2011 p 9. June 25, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A Tanzanian court has issued an arrest warrant for Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT).

On 13 June the High Court in Arusha issued a bench warrant for Dr Mokiwa for contempt of court, after prosecutors claimed the Archbishop ignored a court order blocking the consecration of the Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, sources in Tanzania tell The Church of England Newspaper the conflict in Mount Kilimanjaro has more to do with money and the Anglican Communion’s political wars than with canon law.

As of 20 June the Archbishop had not yet been served by police with the warrant, and had left Arusha for Dar es Salaam. He has told supporters in the West he would not surrender himself to the magistrate until he is formally served with the warrant by police.

Last week Justice Kakusulo Sambo issued the bench warrant after prosecutors alleged the Archbishop was in contempt of court for consecrating Bishop Stanley Hotay to the episcopate on 12 June. Last month Justice Sambo issued an order blocking the consecration of a new bishop for the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro pending adjudication of the claim that Bishop Hotay’s 15 April consecration was defective. The Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro has been divided for over a decade, with a number of parishes refusing to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the former bishop, Simon Makundi. The ACT hoped the election of a new bishop would reunite the diocese, which was divided over Bishop Makundi’s support of the use of condoms as a prophylactic against HIV/AIDS — a stance rejected by the wider church and the dissident congregations.

Supporters of the unsuccessful candidate for election — who had the backing of Bishop Makundi — have alleged the new bishop has not yet reached his 40th birthday and is thereby barred by canon law from being made a bishop. The rift also reflects the wider political divisions within the Tanzania church.

On 7 December, 2006, the ACT House of Bishops adopted a resolution stating “henceforth we are not in communion, namely, communio in sacris, with: i. Bishops who consecrate homosexuals to the episcopate and those Bishops who ordain such persons to the priesthood and the deaconate or license them to minister in their dioceses; ii. Bishops who permit the blessing of same-sex unions in their dioceses; iii. Gay priests and deacons; and iv. Priests who bless same-sex unions.”

The bishops also proclaimed a “state of the severely impaired communion” with the Episcopal Church and declared “that henceforth the Anglican Church of Tanzania shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from Dioceses, parishes, Bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same sex-unions.”

However, not all of the Tanzanian bishops have honoured this stance, with Central Tanganyika and other dioceses continuing to receive financial support from liberal dioceses and institutions. The split has also seen the Western-financed dioceses campaign to block the re-election of Archbishop Mokiwa as primate of the ACT.

They have also sought to embarrass the Archbishop, a member of the Gafcon primates’ council, his supporters tell CEN and in February invited a group of liberal Canadian and American bishops to Dar es Salaam — Archbishop Mokiwa’s see city — for a conversation on human sexuality. The majority of the ACT House of Bishops, including Archbishop Mokiwa, were unaware of the meeting until shortly before it began.

In a statement given to The Citizen newspaper of Dar es Salaam, the general secretary of the ACT, Dr Dickson Chilongani said the consecration service, which was attended by local police leaders in Arusha and Bishop Tim Stevens of Leicester, did not violate the injunction. The consecration of Bishop Hotay was to episcopal office, but did not confer jurisdiction upon the new bishop. “What we did was to consecrate him as a new bishop… as of now he does not belong to any diocese,” said Dr Chilongani.

“Our liturgy on those occasions is clear that you first consecrate someone and then install him… we only consecrated him,” he explained.

Arrest warrant issued for the Archbishop of Tanzania: The Church of England Newspaper, June 15, 2011 June 16, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A Tanzanian court has issued an arrest warrant for Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT).

On June 13 the High Court in Arusha issued a bench warrant for Dr. Mokiwa for contempt of court, after prosecutors claimed the archbishop ignored a court order blocking the consecration of the Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Sources in Tanzania report that as of June 14 the archbishop had not yet been served by police with the warrant.

On Monday, the High Court in Arusha issued an arrest warrant for the ACT head for allegedly defying a court order not to consecrate Stanley Hotay as the new Bishop for Mount Kilimanjaro. Justice Kakusulo Sambo issued the warrant after the prosecution claimed the archbishop acted in contempt of court by consecrating Bishop Hotay on Sunday, while the court sorted out the claims of lay leaders opposed to the election.

On April 15, the Mount Kilimanjaro synod elected the Rev. Stanley Hotay as the third bishop of the diocese that covers the Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions.  The election of a new bishop ended a 10-year split within the diocese between the former bishop Simon Makundi and his clergy that mirrored a wider fight within the province over the morality of condom use.  The election of the new bishop, church leaders hoped, would end the dispute.

However, a petition was filed in April with the High Court in Arusha, asking the court to set aside the election.  The petitioners charged the new bishop had allegedly misstated his age.  The court issued an injunction blocking the installation of a new Anglican bishop pending adjudication.

The consecration of Bishop Hotay, however, did not violate the court order, the General Secretary of the ACT told The Citizen newspaper of Dar es Salaam.  Dr Dickson Chilongani said the consecration service, which was attended by local police leaders in Arusha and Bishop Tim Stevens of Leicester, was to episcopal office, but did not confer jurisdiction upon the new bishop.

“What we did was to consecrate him as a new bishop… as of now he does not belong to any diocese,” said Dr Chilongani.

“Our liturgy on those occasions is clear that you first consecrate someone and then install him… we only consecrated him.”

Church condom split ends: The Church of England Newspaper, May 13, 2011 p 8. May 16, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Health/HIV-AIDS.
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Bishop-elect Stanley Hotay of Mount Kilimanjaro

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A schism within the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) over the propriety of using condoms as a prophylactic against the spread of HIV/AIDs has been healed following the retirement and election of a new bishop.

On April 15, the Mount Kilimanjaro synod elected the Rev. Stanley Hotay as the third bishop of the diocese that covers the Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions.

The general secretary of the ACT, Dr. Dickson Chilongani, told reporters after the vote, the elections had been a “testimony” that the diocese was “now more united than before.”

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt. Rev. Tim Stevens, is scheduled to attend the June 12 consecration in Arusha, as Leicester has had a link to Mount Kilimanjaro for several years.  The new bishop is pastor of two churches in Arusha and serves as diocesan missioner.  In 2010 he was awarded a BA in Theology from the University of Gloucester.

The election of a new bishop ends a ten year split within the diocese between the former bishop Simon Makundi and his clergy that mirrored a wider fight within the province over the morality of condom use.

In 2001, Bishop Makundi along with several other bishops and the church’s HIV/AIDs ministries endorsed condom use as a prophylactic against disease, and in 2002 the Tanzanian delegation to the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) AIDs summit in Nairobi stated their church had “openly discussed the efficacy of condom use and endorsed such use in order to save lives.”

However, St. James Parish in Arusha denounced this new policy as immoral, and when Bishop Makundi attempted to visit the congregation he was ejected.

In 2004, the dispute was brought to a special meeting of the House of Bishops, which agreed to accept jurisdiction over the parish until the controversy was settled.  Bishop Simon Chiwanga of the Mpwapwa, the former chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, was sent to the parish by the House of Bishops and confirmed that the church’s stance was that the use of condoms as a prophylactic against disease was immoral.

In 2010 St James parish relented in its opposition to Bishop Makundi, who had recanted his views on condom use, and accepted his jurisdiction.  The election of a new bishop, church leaders tell CEN, should end the dispute.

‘Corporate Social Responsibility” in Africa is a farce, Archbishop charges: The Church of England Newspaper, Feb 18, 2011 p 8. February 24, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Environment.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The claims of ‘corporate social responsibility’ made by multi-national mining firms in Africa are untrue, the Archbishop of Tanzania said last week at a fringe meeting held during the 17th Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

Speaking to a reporter from the South African Independent on Feb 9, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa said multi-national mining firms were despoiling the land and disrupting the culture of Africa.  He urged African governments to put the needs of their people before tax revenues.

The archbishop’s remarks followed a presentation on Corporate Social Responsibility at the Mining Indaba—a trade show for Africa’s major mining and metals corporations.  Speakers at the forum from the mining and banking industries spoke of the social and economic programmes their corporations provided to the native populations.

However, the mining companies were “still misbehaving,” the archbishop said.

“The use of chemicals in the extraction process has terrible effects on the environment, rivers are ruined, people are dying… but they claim to be working with the community, building clinics and schools… Yes they do build schools and clinics but they are substandard, unlike the ones they build for their own employees,” the archbishop said

In 2008 Archbishop Mokiwa spearheaded a drive in Tanzania to change the country’s tax laws governing multi-national mining corporations, and urged the government to revoke mining concessions that had been let through bribery and false dealings.

The mining companies “know how to corrupt the system,” the archbishop said.  It will take time for multi-nationals to change their business practices as “they are making so much money it is hard for them to hear what we are saying.”

A 2008 report underwritten by Christian Aid and Norwegian Church Aid for the Tanzanian Council of Churches found the Tanzanian government was mismanaging its mining contracts with foreign multi-nationals.

“Tanzania is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. At the same time, Tanzania possesses around 45 million ounces of gold, which at the current gold price means this country is sitting on a fortune of up to $39bn,’’ said the report entitled, “A Golden Opportunity – How Tanzania is Failing to Benefit from Gold Mining.”

However, the gold is being “extracted at a rate of over 1.6m ounces a year, meaning that they may last 28 years,” requiring the government to enact major policy changes in the royalties, and in developing plans for restoring the land once the ore has played out.

Zanzibar episcopal election cancelled: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 28, 2011. February 2, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Tanzanian Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Internal tensions have derailed the election of a Bishop of Zanzibar, sources in Tanzania tell The Church of England Newspaper.

Vacant since the death of Bishop Deogras Toto in 2006, the Diocese of Zanzibar had been scheduled to elect a new bishop in November 2010 from a list of three local candidates.  Since the death of Bishop Toto retired Archbishop Donald Mtetemela and Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa have exercised episcopal oversight for the diocese.

The original delay in electing a new bishop sources tell CEN was due to the canonical requirements that a bishop be at least 40 years of age and hold a diploma in theology—a hurdle the local clergy could not jump in 2006.  However the latest delay the Guardian newspaper of Dar es Salaam reports came after one of the diocese’s senior lay leaders and the registrar of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, the Chief Justice of Tanzania Augustino Ramadhani, declined to give his support to any of the candidates.

Diocesan secretary Nuhu Salanya said he was unaware of the Judge’s views, but said the election had been postponed due to “misunderstandings” between the diocese and the church’s national offices in Dodoma.

Church land dispute leads to riot in Zanzibar: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 7, 2011 January 12, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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Ruins of St Mary's Mission School in Mbweni, Zanzibar

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglicans in Zanzibar have repossessed a church cemetery nationalized by the government, storming onto the grounds and tearing down a building constructed by its purported new owner—the daughter of retired President Amani Abeid Karume.

In a Dec 30 sermon to the members of St John’s Anglican Church in Mbweni, a coastal community located four miles south of the Zanzibari capital of Stone Town, the Rev. Canon Matthew Mhagama urged the congregation to repossess their cemetery, after construction workers toppled grave stones and pulled down crosses in preparation for developing the site.

“We’ve dedicated these prayers to this site so that God can help us by touching the hearts of the Lands officials so that they return our land. We’re appealing to God so that others with similar grievances can be assisted,” Canon Mhagama said, according to local press accounts.

The site of one of the first Christian missions in Zanzibar, in 1871 Bishop George Tozer of Nyasaland purchased 30 acres of land in Mbweni from the Sultan of Zanzibar to settle freed slaves. Charge of the land was given to the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) which built St John’s Church for the new community, and opened a girls’ school, St Mary’s.

Caroline Thackeray, a cousin of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, was appointed headmistress of the school in 1877, remaining until her death in 1926. In 1920s the UMCA closed the school and sold the buildings after it moved its operations to the mainland, but retained ownership of the church and its environs.

In 1964 the newly independent Republic of Zanzibar nationalized all land on the island, allowing the congregation continued use of the church.  St Mary’s school soon fell into ruins, and the ownership of the surrounding land became clouded.

In 1998 the congregation applied for a title deed to the property, after developers discovered the area and began to construct beach hotels.   Questions about the status of its application went unanswered in 1999, and in 2006 the Ministry of Water, Works, Energy and Land told the congregation their application was being processed.  Subsequent inquiries have gone unanswered, until church members learned the former president’s daughter had been given title to the land.

President Karume told reporters that it was proper that his daughter be given title as she had been maintaining the grounds for several years.  The former president added that his daughter’s application for the land had been duly received and title properly transferred from the state to her, and she was now free to do with it what she pleased.

The growth of tourism in Zanzibar has spawned a rash of controversial “land grabs”, with state controlled land being sold to foreign developers and politically connected Zanzibaris.  During the October presidential campaign, presidential candidates, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, both vowed to stamp out cronyism and corruption in the distribution of land.

Tanzania goes to the polls: The Church of England Newspaper, Nov 5, 2010 p 6. November 10, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania has urged voters to respect the results of the Oct 31 General Election, and put the nation’s needs ahead of sectarian and tribal interests.

In a statement released last Friday before voters went to the polls, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam said the results of the Sunday election would be the “peoples’ verdict” on the candidates and should be “respected.”

Mr. Jakaya Kikwete is seeking a second five-year term as president of Tanzania, and an increased majority for his ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in the 239-seat parliament.  In the 2005 election President Kikwete won 80 per cent of the vote and his tenure has witnessed steady economic growth for the East African nation.

However, financial scandals have plagued his government with two former ministers facing corruption charges.  The main opposition candidate, Dr. Willibrod Slaa, a former Roman Catholic priest and leader of the Chadema party in parliament, has campaigned on an anti-corruption platform

Tanzania has avoided the internal political strife that has plagued its neighbors in East Africa, and Archbishop Mokiwo has urged political leaders and their supporters to honour the results.  “It is important that the parties’ supporters get prepared for any kind of results, victory or defeat of the candidates they supported,” he said.

The archbishop reiterated his church’s non-partisan stance in the election contest.  The Anglican Church of Tanzania, as a member of the Christian Council of Tanzania, joined the Roman Catholic Tanzania Episcopal Conference and the Pentecostal Church of Tanzania in endorsing a statement that said the country’s churches would not back any candidate or party.  The Churches further stated that Christians had the right and duty to vote for leaders of their choice irrespective of religious belief.

“Peace, unity, stability and mutual understanding among the people are the priceless assets that we cannot afford to lose,” Archbishop Mokiwa said.

President Kikwete and Dr. Slaa have both predicted that they will win the election, but have promised to honour the poll results.  “If all procedures were followed and the election was free and fair, we will accept the results,” Dr Slaa told reporters.

Mara murders not motivated by religion, bishop says: The Church of England Newspaper, March 19, 2010 p 7. April 1, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Tanzanian religious leaders have denounced an outburst of ethnic violence that culminated last month with the murder of 17 people. However, Anglican and Muslim clerics have been quick to distinguish the clashes from the recent violence in Nigeria and have denied there are religious motives behind the wave of killings in Northern Tanzania.

Competition for scarce resources and a “vendetta” culture lay behind the murders in Mara, the Rt. Rev. Hilkia Omindo of Mara said, noting that criminals are not confined to any one ethnic or religious group.

On the night of Feb 16, a gang stormed three homes in a village outside the town of Musoma in the Mara region on Lake Victoria, along Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya, killing 17 members of an extended family with machetes.

The majority of the dead were women and children, aged 11 months to 13 years of age. Three people survived the attack with grievous wounds, while one 4-year old girl escaped unharmed by playing dead and hiding under a blanket.

Musoma District Commissioner, Captain Geoffrey Ngatuni, said he was horrified by the savagery of the attack, and speculated the killings were motivated by revenge. In 2005 three people were killed for allegedly stealing 25 goats belonging to one of the victims of last month’s murders.

The funerals attracted national attention and a visit by Home Affairs Minister Lawrence Masha to Musoma with senior police officers, who ordered an intensive search for the killers. The Citizen of Dar es Salaam reported that 14 suspects had been detained so far, and that the investigation was on-going.

Home to 12 different tribes, the Mara province is also home to the 5700 sq mile Serengeti National Park—a major tourist and safari attraction for Tanzania. While the revenue for tourism was vital for Tanzania’s economy, the pressure of setting aside land for wildlife placed pressure on rival groups of pastoralists and settled farming communities.

The murders were the result of “endless land conflicts and cattle-rustling,” Bishop Omindo said. Sheik Athuman Magehe, the Muslim leader of the Mara region concurred, noting that among those killed and arrested were both Christians and Muslims.

“All of the arrested suspected murderers either have Christian or Islamic names,” Bishop Omindo said, adding that revenge killings were always wrong. “Jesus had already directed Christians to let God punish their enemies on their behalf,” he told the Daily News.

The religious leaders urged the government to support structural changes to the region’s economy, but transforming notions of wealth from cattle to cash would not solve all of the problems, they said. A moral transformation was necessary to end the violence, the bishop said, and that could only come through an intensive evangelisation of the people.

Row over condoms is settled: CEN 1.29.10 p 7. February 10, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Health/HIV-AIDS.
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A schism caused by divisions over the morality of using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs has been healed in the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Anglican Church of Tanzania reports.

The split between St James Parish in Arusha and its Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Simon Makundi, mirrors a wider fight within the province over the morality of condom use. The Roman Catholic Church and a number of leading Muslim clerics have long opposed government health programmes that promoted condom use, arguing it promoted promiscuity and immorality. After initially backing the use of condoms to halt the spread of the disease, the Anglican Church of Tanzania reversed course.

In 2001, Bishop Makundi along with several other Tanzanian bishops and the church’s HIV/AIDs ministries endorsed condom use as a prophylactic against disease, and in 2002 the Tanzanian delegation to the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) AIDs summit in Nairobi stated their church had “openly discussed the efficacy of condom use and endorsed such use in order to save lives.”

St. James Parish in Arusha denounced this change in policy as immoral, and when the bishop attempted to visit the congregation he was ejected.

In 2004, the dispute was brought to a special meeting of the House of Bishops, which agreed to accept jurisdiction over the parish until the controversy was settled. According to the Arusha Times, Bishop Simon Chiwanga of the Mpwapwa Diocese, the former chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, told the parish Bishop Makundi had recanted his earlier statements on condom use.

Bishop Chiwanga told the congregation that the use of condoms as a prophylactic against disease was immoral, and contrary to the stance of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. However, the parish refused to accept Bishop Makundi’s oversight, saying they had no confidence in his leadership.

The Anglican Church in Tanzania that year also launched an HIV/AIDS control project that required clergy to take an HIV test and two years later came out against government plans to introduce sex education in the national primary school curriculum, joining with the Catholic Church in successfully forcing the Education Ministry to withdraw the programme until it passed muster with the churches.

However, several years of quiet mediation between the parties by provincial leaders and the bishop’s climb down over condoms appears to have resolved the dispute, as last week the parish acknowledged the jurisdiction of Bishop Makundi.

Tanzanian Bishop quits to stand for Parliament: CEN 1.14.10 January 14, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A leading Tanzanian bishop, the Rt Rev Gerard Mpango, has resigned as Bishop of Western Tanganyika to contest a parliamentary seat in the country’s October general election.

Tanzanian Bishop quits to stand for Parliament

Bishop Mpango will stand as a candidate for the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party (the Party of the Revolution in Swahili) in the Kasulu East constituency.

Announcing his candidacy last month before a meeting of party leaders and tribal elders, Bishop Mpango said his decision to run came in response to the pleas of members of his diocese. He pledged that if elected, he would use his seat in Parliament to fight corruption and to support the government’s plans for economic development.

Under Tanzanian canon law, Bishop Mpango would have had to retire as bishop in 2012, when he turned 65. He had stood for election in Feb 2008 as primate and Archbishop of Tanzania following the end of Archbishop Donald Mtetemela’s term of office.

However, following a contentious session Bishop Mpango was blocked from running for office, as he would have been unable to complete a full five-year term of office before reaching the mandatory retirement age, and on Feb 28, 2008, the synod elected Dr Valentino Mokiwa, Bishop of Dar es Salaam as the fifth Primate for the Province.

In recent years the Tanzanian House of Bishops has been sharply divided by personal and regional jealousies. The Anglican Communion’s wider political fight over human sexuality has found a place within Tanzania’s internal disputes, with some bishops breaking ranks with their colleagues and soliciting financial support from liberal dioceses in the US, although the Tanzanian House of Bishops has formally broken with the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Mpango had skillfully negotiated the shoals of Anglican politics, being a supporter of Forward in Faith and a participant in the 2008 Gafcon conference, while also forging links and financial ties with ‘gay-friendly’ parishes in the United States.

Tanzania drops plans to impose VAT on churches and mosques: CEN 7.03.09 p 6. July 5, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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CEN LogoArchbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam

Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam

The government of Tanzania has rescinded plans to impose a VAT on purchases made by religious institutions following marathon talks with the country’s religious leaders. The government’s u-turn in the spat over VAT came days before a vote in Parliament on the government’s 2009-2010 budget forestalling a political showdown in the East African nation.

After talks with the Primate of Tanzania, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam and other Christian and Muslim leaders, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda on June 17 announced the government would lift the proposed VAT charges on church-run education, health care and development services.

“The President has blessed the decision to expunge the proposal,” the prime minister told a press conference in Dar es Salaam. Existing VAT exemptions would remain in place provided church leaders saw that their institutions complied with the spirit of the tax laws, he said.

Last month the government announced it would lift VAT exemptions on religious institutions on all purchases save for those directly related to worship, such as church or mosque construction and upkeep.

Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo said some religious institutions had abused their tax exempt status and had cost the government over £200 million last year. Church tax exemptions equaled 3.5 percent of GDP in 2008, Mr. Mkulo said, while they comprised only 1 percent of GDP in Kenya and 0.4 percent of GDP in Uganda. This was evidence, he said, that some church institutions were abusing their VAT duty free status.

“Tax exemption reduces government efforts in providing social services and infrastructure development, which are important in providing better social services to all citizens,” he said.

The Christian Council of Tanganyika is warning that the move to impose taxes on religious institutions will lose it votes in the general election slated for October 2010.

Archbishop Mokiwa, the deputy chairperson of the Christian Council of Tanzania, (CCT) said it was wrong to tax churches while the government gave VAT exemptions to foreign mining firms to encourage overseas investment. He warned that unless the government rescinded the VAT scheme, it would likely see the displeasure of the 10 million members of the CCT reflected in the polls at the Sept 2010 general elections.

Talks between the government and Archbishop Mokiwa, along with other Christian and Muslim leaders, led to an agreement that religious leaders would use their best efforts to see that the system was not abused.

The church VAT scheme had also proven to be a political liability for the prime minister’s government, as opposition MPs had seized on the issue in seeking to defeat the government’s budget for the coming fiscal year.

Tanzania bishop calls for protection for albinos: CEN 4.24.09 April 26, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Anglican Church of Tanzania has joined the battle against the discrimination and abuse of albinos. In his Easter Sunday sermon, Bishop Phillip Baji of Tanga denounced the killings of an estimated 45 albinos since mid 2007, saying the murders dishonored God and disgraced the nation.

The church called for the government to crack down on traditional healers or witchdoctors who trafficked in albino body parts. In February UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to address the issue, saying the killings were a “gross violation of human rights.”

Peter Ash, founder of “Under the Same Son,” a Canadian charity that advocates for the rights of Tanzania’s albinos, told the National Post discrimination against albinos was endemic in some of the country’s tribal cultures. Many believe albinos to be ghosts or a curse, leading to the deaths of many albino infants, he said.

Those who survive to adulthood are worth up to £20,000 to witchdoctors and are killed for their body parts, Ash said. Hair, bones, skin and the blood of albinos are used to create potions by the witchdoctors who sell the concoctions top those seeking wealth or power.

They “chop them up or grind them up, use them in potions or what’s called a talisman, an object they will sprinkle blood on or infuse with body parts,” he said. Approximately 200 people have been arrested in the attacks but no convictions have yet been forthcoming.

“A lot of that was just people weren’t aware of it, and to some degree nobody wants to tangle with something this evil,” Ash said. “You’re looking evil in the eye when you do this.”

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Tanzania bishop calls for protection for albinos

Scenes from Alexandria: Indian Ocean and Tanzania February 21, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean, Primates Meeting 2009.
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The Primates of the Indian Ocean and Tanzania, Archbishops Ian Ernest and Valentino Mokiwa

The Primates of the Indian Ocean and Tanzania, Archbishops Ian Ernest and Valentino Mokiwa

Tanzania churches criticise mining mismanagement: CEN 10.24.08 p 6. October 26, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Development/Economics/Govt Finances, Environment.
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Government mismanagement of Tanzania’s mining industry has led the despoliation of the land and a loss of £150 million in potential tax revenues, a report released by Tanzanian churches has charged.

A report entitled “A Golden Opportunity? How Tanzania is failing to benefit from gold mining” released last week in Dar es Salaam, charged that tax concessions given to international mining conglomerates had cheated the people of Tanzania. The £150 million in lost revenues was a “very conservative estimate,” the report said, as it did not cover all gold mining concessions as well as the intangible costs of granting overseas mining concerns preferential tax treatment.

While large-scale gold mining employed 7,135 miners and had led to lower production costs, it had come at the “expense of small-scale artisan miners, around 400,000 of whom have been put out to work,” the report said.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Tanzania churches criticise mining mismanagement

The Primate of Tanzania September 28, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Tanzania.
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The Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop of Tanzania and Bishop of Dar es Salaam

Muslims target Anglicans in Tanzania: CEN 8.29.98 p 8. August 28, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Islam, Politics.
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Sectarian violence between Muslims and Anglicans in Tanzania has sparked outrage in East Africa.

On Aug 17 fighting broke out in the small town of Nguruka in the diocese of Western Tanganyika near Lake Victoria after Muslims evangelists accused an Anglican evangelist of blaspheming Islam.

According to press accounts, the fighting erupted after Muslims took offense to the preaching of an Anglican evangelist. The Citizen newspaper in Dar es Salaam denounced the violence saying it deserved the “condemnation of all people who aspire for religious harmony in Tanzania.”

“If the Muslims were offended by the preaching of the Anglican evangelist, as the reports say, the proper procedure was to report their grievances to the police, who, in our view, would have dealt with the issue in accordance with the law,” The Citizen argued, adding that freedom of religion should not be construed to mean carte blanche to attack other faiths.

“Religious skirmishes and other conflicts pitting members of different denominations should be avoided by all well-wishing Tanzanians as they could have devastating consequences on the country. We should avoid them at all costs,” the newspaper said.

While Tanzanian Islam has traditionally been tolerant, in recent years Wahabist influenced preachers have sought to radicalize Islam in East Africa and have gained a foothold in Zanzibar.

Clashes in Tanganyika have arisen over the competing claims of Christian evangelists and the Wahubiri wa Kislamu (Preachers of Islam) who specialize in giving sermons and preaching on the streets, at markets, or in football stadiums. They refer to these activities as “open-air conferences.”

The sermons of the Preachers of Islam consist of an “Islamic” reading of the Bible, with the intention of converting Christians to Islam or dissuading animists from accepting Christianity and to turn to Islam. Christianity’s rapid growth on the mainland of Tanganyika coupled with the increased radicalization of Islam has led to an increase in tensions between the two communities.

Domestic political considerations are also at work in the clash of religions, as Muslim-majority Zanzibar—which had formerly been independent and under a separate colonial administration from the mainland of Tanganyika–has sought to strengthen its ties with other Muslim countries, and in 1993 joined the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)—and was forced to withdraw after the national government of Tanzania objected.

The former Bishop of Mwapwa and President of the Anglican Consultative Council July 27, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Tanzania, Lambeth 2008.
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The Rt. Rev. Simon Chiwanga at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.  Dr. Chiwanga retired as Bishop of Mwapwa, Tanzania and as chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council in 2002.

Tanzania mine row anger: CEN 5.23.08 p 8. May 26, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Environment.
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Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Church in Tanzania has urged its government to take greater care in the licensing of foreign companies to develop the nation’s natural resources.

Abandoned open pit mines have rendered the land useless for agriculture, the Bishop of Mara said last week, while a church sponsored report argues that foreign multi-nationals have taken millions of ounces of gold out of the land, but paid little to the government.

During a tour of an abandoned gold mine in Buhmeba, close to Lake Victoria and the Kenyan border, Bishop Hilkiah Omindo Deya told reporters multi-national corporations had “harvested a lot of gold at the mine but left Buhemba villagers with huge holes.”

While providing wealth for government coffers, the mines in Tanzania’s rural provinces despoiled the land, ruined the few roads, and provided few social benefits for the surrounding areas. When the gold seams played out, the companies and miners moved on, he said, leaving the land wasted and the water polluted for the local villagers.

A report underwritten by Christian Aid and Norwegian Church Aid for the Tanzanian Council of Churches has also charged the government with mismanaging its mining contracts with foreign multi-nationals. “Tanzania is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. At the same time, Tanzania possesses around 45 million ounces of gold, which at the current gold price means this country is sitting on a fortune of up to $39bn,” said the report entitled, “A Golden Opportunity – How Tanzania is Failing to Benefit from Gold Mining.”

However, the gold is being “extracted at a rate of over 1.6m ounces a year, meaning that they may last 28 years,” requiring the government to enact major policy changes in the royalties, and in developing plans for restoring the land once the ore has played out.

Projections of quick riches from foreign operated mines do not survive public scrutiny. The report cited the case of the Buzwagi mine deal made with Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation. Claims by former Energy and Minerals Minister to Parliament the Buzwagi contract would pay $20 million a year in taxes, was shown to be overstated, as the true rate of return for the government was only $590,000 a year in revenue.

The government’s claim appears to “have been put forward to hoodwink parliament and silence calls for parliamentary scrutiny of the contract,” the report said.

In his Christmas Eve sermon last year, the new Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Valentino Mokiwa challenged the government to revoke mining deals such as the Buzwagi contract given to multi-national corporations, saying they were let on dubious terms and cheated the common man.

Tanzania has a new primate: CEN 3.07.08 p 6. March 7, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Anglican Church of Tanzania has elected a new primate.  The Bishop of Dar es Salaam, the Rt. Rev. Valentino Mokiwa was elected Archbishop of at a special meeting of the Church’s General Synod on Feb 28 in Dodoma.

Archbishop-elect Mokiwa succeeds Archbishop Donald Mtetemela, the Bishop of Ruaha, who has completed his second five year term as primate and is ineligible to stand for a third term.

Delegates from the Tanzanian church’s 21 dioceses met in a single session with each diocese sending five electors: its bishop, two clergy and two lay delegates.  The new archbishop will be enthroned on May 25 in Dodoma.

An Anglo-Catholic, Archbishop-elect Mokiwa is expected to continue the international policies of his predecessor.  Last year Bishop Mokiwa was part of the majority in the Tanzanian House of Bishops that voted to break relations with the US Episcopal Church.  On Jan 13, Bishop Mokiwa made a visitation to Holy Trinity Anglican Church in San Diego, a breakaway parish of the Diocese of San Diego that had affiliated with the Province of the Southern Cone.

The Bishop of Dar es Salaam has championed the rights of the poor in the East African nation, and on Christmas Eve last year challenged the government to revoke mining contracts given to multi-national corporations, saying they were let on dubious terms and cheated the common man.

He has also backed the government’s campaign to clean up the capital’s sex tourism businesses and its crack down on prostitution.  He has also warned Tanzanian women against aping the fashion styles of the West, saying short skirts and skimpy clothes promoted decadence.

Church intervenes in Tanzania dispute: CEN 1.25.08 p 8. January 27, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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The Anglican Church of Tanzania has intervened in the dispute between the Bishop of Central Tanganyika and his suffragan, and has asked Bishop Godfrey Mhogolo to halt evictions proceedings against Bishop Ainea Kusenha.

The Guardian newspaper of Dar es Salaam reported this week Bishop Mhogolo tried to evict Bishop Kusenha from his diocesan owned house, but was asked to halt by the Province. On Jan 15 the diocesan secretary informed Bishop Kusenha he would be removed by force if he did not vacate the vicarage. Bishop Kusenha declined to go, prompting a crowd of supporters to gather at his home to prevent his removal.

The province stepped in, sources tell The Church of England Newspaper, to avoid a public spectacle.

While officially couched in terms of a disagreement in management styles between the two bishops, the dispute in Central Tanganyika has drawn its energy from the fallout over the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

In March, Bishop Mhogolo came under fire from clergy and lay leaders of his diocese after he broke with his colleagues in the Tanzanian House of Bishops, releasing a letter on Jan 26 opposing his Church’s policies towards The Episcopal Church.

The Tanzanian Bishops’ statement “that expresses a severely impaired relationship with ECUSA, and that no money will be received by the Anglican Church of Tanzania from ECUSA and its entities that condone homosexual practices,” he said “carries a lot of weight” but did not “express the will and wishes of the whole Anglican Church of Tanzania,” Bishop Mhogolo wrote.

Central Tanganyika would continue to accept US funds in defiance of the Provincial Bishops’ statement, he said. Internal protests over his pro-American policies led to his being banned from his cathedral in Dodoma at Easter, while calls were made for his removal from office.

Bishop Mhogolo responded that while he rejected the American church’s affirmation of gay bishops and blessings, he did not believe homosexual conduct was a worse sin than murder or adultery. “There are so many other problems ranging from poverty, ignorance and diseases that the church in Africa could address instead of importing the issue of homosexuality which is a problem of the American church,” he said.

The objections lodged against him were a ploy to undermine his authority, the bishop said. However, the unresolved dispute over the Episcopal Church has led to conflict with senior clergy in the diocese, and now with his suffragan, Bishop Kusenha.

Primates Meeting 2007: TLC Dar es Salaam Cathedral 2.11.07 June 30, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Consultative Council, Living Church, Primates Meeting 2007.
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imgp0379.jpg

Scene outside the Cathedral door following Sunday services on Feb 11, 2007 at the Anglican Cathedral in Dar es Salaam, the two male clergy are the Rev Canon Kenneth Kearon, ACC secretary general, and Bishop Gerald Mpango of Western Tanganyika. Lay Canon Elizabeth Paver of the Anglican Consultative Council standing committee (in blue) is speaking to an unnamed Congolese female priest. First published in The Living Church.

Primates Meeting 2007: CEN Gerald Mpango and Charlie Masters 2.11.07 June 30, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Primates Meeting 2007.
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imgp0389.jpg

The Rt. Rev. Gerald Mpango, Bishop of Western Tanganyika and the Rev. Canon Charlie Masters, President of the Anglican Essentials (Canada) Coalition following Sunday services at the Dar es Salaam Cathedral on Feb 11, 2007. First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Primates Meeting 2007: Day 1, The calm before the storm June 8, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Primates Meeting 2007.
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Primates gathered in the VIP lounge at the Dar es Salaam airport on Feb 13 following the arrival of Archbishop Williams and his party from London. From left to right, the Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, Archbishop of Canada, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. Canterbury, York, Canada and their aides were on the same BA flight to Dar es Salaam from London, along with the Archbishops of Ireland, Scotland and Brazil.

This photo first appeared in The Church of England Newspaper.

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