A Tanzanian court recently acquitted two evangelists of “illegal preaching.”
the case against Anglican Christians Eleutery Kobelo and Cecil Simbaulanga, who
were arrested in October 2009 after Muslims invited them to participate in a
religious debate at which the opponents did not appear, but authorities did.
site of the supposed inter-faith debate until Islamists arrived with government
security agents who charged them with “using religious sermons to incite Muslims
and Christians into viewing each other with suspicion.”
annoyed Muslims and therefore disrupted a peaceful coexistence between those of
the two faiths.
court to support their allegation of illegal preaching. After the verdict,
Christians shouting for joy greeted the evangelists as they left the courtroom,
based on Tanzania’s constitution that allows for freedom of religion and
assembly,” Kobelo said. “We thank the Christians worldwide for praying for us
and Compass for highlighting our plight.”
cannot be stopped.
many Muslims will turn to Christ,” he told Compass. “Muslims tried to stop the
movement, but nobody can stop the gospel.”
released on bail on Oct. 27.
2007 in Kigoma, he said. Denied bail, he was accused of trying to convert
Muslims to Christ and “abusing Islam” by saying Muhammad had married a young
girl. Several cases are pending against him in different courts, he said, and
Muslims are constantly searching for him.
Christian and 35 percent is Muslim, mostly Sunni; other religious groups make up
the other 3 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Department of
Christian evangelists from reading excerpts from the Quran in an outdoor event
on March 18, 2009, according to the state department’s 2009 International
Religious Freedom Report. Officers temporarily detained them and released them
with a warning not to read the Quran during sermons to avoid antagonizing the