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Pastor's Beheading Prompts Ban on Tanzanian Christians Slaughtering Animals

Government considers changes to health code, including creation of Christian-run slaughterhouses.

Disagreement between Muslims and Christians in Tanzania over the slaughtering of animals for sale led to the beheading of a pastor earlier this month. Now, in an attempt to quell tensions, a government-convened interfaith council will review policies that govern meat intended for human consumption in the east African nation.

The clash arose in the mainland village of Buseresere on Feb. 11, when Muslims confronted several Christians who had slaughtered animals on church property to be sold at a local market. In Tanzania, official rules mandate that animals killed for human consumption must be approved by a veterinarian at a local, town-owned slaughterhouse–most of which are operated by Muslims.

The Feb. 11 clash led to the beheading of Tanzania Assemblies of God pastor Mathayo Machila. (The AG reports on the death here.)

The pastor's death prompted the government to form an interfaith committee that will review the health laws, including the possible formation of Christian-run slaughterhouses. In the meantime, Christians will be prohibited from slaughtering animals for sale and human consumption outside of slaughterhouses.

Meanwhile, on Tanzania's semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, a Catholic priest was shot and killed by Muslims, the second attack on the island's Christians since Christmas.

CT has previously reported on East African Christianity and Tanzania, noting most recently that Tanzania ranked 24th on the 2013 World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution.

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Related Topics:Africa
Posted:February 22, 2013 at 10:09AM
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