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February 25, 2013

Troubling Times in Tanzania

The past two weeks have seen two Christian leaders in Tanzania killed by radical Muslims. The first was an Assembly of God pastor killed on Feb. 11 in the northwest part of the country. Pastor Mathayo Kachili was killed when Muslims attacked Christians who had butchered an animal. (Traditionally all of the butcher shops in Tanzania have been run by Muslims, but in recent months Christians have tried to change that.)

Six days later, VOM received the following message from one of our Christian contacts in Tanzania:

"While we were busy trying to heal the wounded hearts of Christians of Buseresere-Katoro of Geita, I have just got a VERY SAD news that Rev. Fr Evarist Mushi of Roman Catholic Church and the head priest of St. Theresia Cathedral in Mtoni County of Zanzibar has just been attacked and shot dead by extremist Islamists and died on spot! He was driving a car to his church for Sunday service of this morning, now his life is taken away! HOW LONG SHALL CHRISTIAN BEAR WITH THIS BARBARIC ACTS WHICH ARE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE TANZANIAN GOVERNMENT?

Tz-lgflagA police spokesman said that Father Evarist Mushi was blocked by two men at the entrance to his Catholic church on Zanzibar Island and shot in the head. A group calling itself "Muslim Renewal" took credit for his murder and claimed the young attackers had been trained in Somalia. More concerning for Christians on Zanzibar and in the rest of Tanzania, the group says there are more attacks to come: "Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster."

Tanzania is a majority-Christian country, according to Operation World, but there is a growing radical-Muslim presence, and persecution is on the rise. Particularly concerning to Christians is the possibility that Islamists in Tanzania are linking with terrorist groups in other countries, such as al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Please pray for Christians in Tanzania. Pray that God will sustain and heal Pastor Kachili's widow and children. Pray that church leaders in the country will know how to respond to persecution and that Christians will be supernaturally empowered to forgive their persecutors. Finally, pray that Muslims will come to know Jesus Christ in a personal way.

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Psa 7:1 Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
Psa 7:2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
Psa 7:3 O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
Psa 7:4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
Psa 7:5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
Psa 7:6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
Psa 7:7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
Psa 7:8 The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
Psa 7:9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
Psa 7:10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
Psa 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
Psa 7:12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
Psa 7:13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
Psa 7:14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
Psa 7:15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
Psa 7:16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
Psa 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psa 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
Psa 10:2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psa 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psa 10:5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
Psa 10:6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
Psa 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
Psa 10:8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
Psa 10:9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
Psa 10:10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
Psa 10:11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
Psa 10:12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
Psa 10:13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
Psa 10:14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Psa 10:15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
Psa 10:16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Psa 10:18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

"Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to perform miraculous signs and wonders in the name of your holy servant, Jesus." Acts 4:29,30

Lord, may you grant them "grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" (eph. 4:7), to be able to withstand, in Your power, all the schemes of satan; may they be granted overcoming faith and a love that transcends every situation! Lord, grant them a deep attitude of worship, from their innermost being, a heart of well-pleasing-sacrifice praise. Teach them through the Holy Spirit all that you have for them. Thank you Father that You are "able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
in ALL THINGS, at ALL TIMES, having ALL THEY NEED, they may ABOUND in good works. That is what I pray for my brothers and sisters in Tanzania. Even though the country is in a troubled, chaotic state, you have peace and rest and joy for them, in ALL things, at ALL times, having ALL they need....In all things, in all situations, even this one, at all times, even right NOW, having all they need, because you have provided a way for them, that they may abound...not just survive, but have "life to the full" in every (even an "impossible") situation.

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