Tiger Spice

Tiger Spice

Breaking News

Tanzania to revoke registration of Churches that mix Religion & Politics

Tanzania has threatened to revoke the registration of religious organisations that “mix religion and politics” after a cleric criticised President John Magufuli’s leadership in a Christmas sermon. 

Opposition leaders in Tanzania say tolerance for dissent has been rapidly disappearing since Magufuli took office in late 2015 with pledges to reform East Africa’s third-biggest economy and crack down on large-scale corruption.    

Tanzania’s constitution protects freedom of worship, but religious organisations must register at the country’s Home Affairs Ministry to get a licence to operate legally.   

“Recently, some leaders of (religious) societies have been using their sermons to analyse political issues, which is contrary to the law,” the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Projest Rwegasira, said late on Thursday.    

“Any violation of the law could lead to cancellation of the registration of the concerned religious society,” he said in a statement.   

The warning was issued just days after the head of a Pentecostal church in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam criticised Magufuli’s leadership, saying his government was closing democratic space.   

Zachary Kakobe, self-proclaimed bishop and founder of the Full Gospel Bible Fellowship Church, accused the Tanzanian government of “quietly turning the country into a one-state rule by systematically banning political activity.”   

The Home Affairs Ministry responded by issuing a public notice to religious organisations after the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party accused Kakobe of mixing religion and politics.   


No comments