DAR ES SALAM, Tanzania — Christians and their churches here in Tanzania and Kenya are on alert this Easter weekendin anticipation of potential attacks against them. Many have armed police guarding their buildings.
A militant Islamic group known as Muslim Renewal has threatened to burn “homes and churches.” They say they “are not finished, at Easter, prepare for disaster.”
The Al Shabaab-linked group is believed responsible for the murder in Zanzibar last month of Catholic priest, Father Evarest Mushi. It may also have been involved in the killing of Pastor Abdi Welli in Garissa, Kenya.
Militant Muslims have killed church leaders and they’ve attacked more than 30 churches in Tanzania and Kenya in the past year.
Pray for Christians and their leaders who are under a new wave of persecution in East Africa. Pray that God will intervene to protect them this Easter season.
Watch the video comments below of Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar Bishop Michael Hafidh. He discusses fear in the Tanzanian church and the Christian response to the threats.
The two Danish-Somali brothers who were accused of financing terror and training for terrorist acts last month were found guilty today in Aarhus.
The brothers, aged 19 and 24, were each handed prison sentences of three and a half years by presiding judge Poul Holm, who put emphasis on a number of phone conversations between the 24-year-old brother, who was in Somalia between November 2011 and March 2012, and the 19-year-old in Aarhus.
On sound recordings from the conversations, the older brother said that he would “assemble a whole group [to] go to Europe and murder everything”. The judge and all the jury members, aside from one, found that the brothers were training for terror purposes.
The Aarhus case was unusual as it was the first time individuals were convicted of receiving training and preparing for a terror attack while in a foreign-based terror training camp.
The two brothers were also charged with providing financial support to al-Shabaab – which is considered a terrorist organisation by several European countries, the US, Canada and Australia – but were found not guilty on that charge.
The state prosecutor, Torben Thygesen, had argued that the brothers intended to carry out a terror act at a later time.
“The distance from receiving terror training to attempting a terror act at a later point is not far,” Thygesen said in his closing arguments when advocating for the younger brother to receive the same punishment as the elder. “When you are together in the deed, then the punishment should be the same.”
The brothers’ lawyers appealed the decision.