Tensions on the rise in Tanzania
For many years Tanzania has been synonymous with peace, stability and growing prosperity, but there are increasing concerns that the country is approaching a crossroads. The country’s president warned recently that tensions are rising between Christians and Muslims ahead of a constitutional referendum and elections. Another pressure point is government plans to recognise verdicts from Islamic khadhi courts in the country’s legal system. Tanzania has had a secular constitution since 1977 which has not favoured any religion. Since the start of the year, Tearfund partner, the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), has been working to ease tensions by organising interfaith meetings at district and national levels.
As well as coordinating joint prayers and fasting for peace, CCT has been coordinating a united Christian voice in the media aimed at promoting peace and is also contributing to national policies that support peaceful coexistence and a continuing secular state.
‘At this time of heightened tensions, our partner is working hard to promote peaceful coexistence,’ says Tearfund’s Tanzania Country Representative Justin Nyamoga. ‘But Tanzania needs your prayers at this time.’
- Please pray for stability in Tanzania as the country grapples with key changes and that tensions do not spill over into violence.
- Pray for peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians
- For the success of efforts to promote interfaith dialogue by Tearfund’s partner.
Tackling TB in Pakistan
For people living in poverty in Pakistan, falling ill can be disastrous. The nearest medical facilities may be a considerable distance away, and treatment can be prohibitively expensive.
When 45-year-old Mrs Meeran became ill with a mystery disease, her husband took her to various doctors to try to find a cure. The family used all their savings and even sold their cows to pay for her medical care. When they could no longer afford qualified doctors, they turned to village quacks in desperation. But Mrs Meeran grew increasingly ill. ‘I thought I was going to die soon,’ she said. ‘Whenever I saw my daughter and little son I got frightened, imagining that soon they would be orphans.’ When things seemed at their worst, a healthcare worker from Tearfund’s partner, the Sahara Community Health Association (SACHA), came to the village to deliver a baby. Hearing about Mrs Meeran’s sickness, she paid her a visit and learnt enough of her symptoms to suspect tuberculosis (TB). The health worker encouraged Mrs Meeran to attend a specialist TB clinic run by SACHA. On her first visit the team diagnosed TB, reassuring her that it was perfectly curable with the right treatment. They gave her medication, frequent check-ups and supportive home visits. In time, Mrs Meeran made a full recovery, and now tells others how to protect themselves from the disease. ‘I am so thankful to God for my new life, so I can live happily with my children,’ she says.
- Give thanks for Mrs Meeran’s complete recovery and new enthusiasm for protecting the health of her community.
- Pakistan still has one of the highest TB rates in the world. Please pray that this will reduce, and ask God to bless SACHA as it seeks to tackle the disease.
Central African Republic Prayer Guide
‘My husband was killed in front of my eyes and during the attack I was raped by the aggressors.’
Marie, a mother of three from Kagabangoro, Central African Republic. Many people have experienced horrific trauma, sexual abuse, rape and violence in CAR. These deep and devastating scars will take a long time to heal. Pray for restoration, hope and healing. Also lift up the perpetrators of violent and abusive acts; that they will stop, repent and seek forgiveness, so that their scars can heal too.
MAY YOUR UNFAILING LOVE BE MY COMFORT. PSALM 119:76
‘I was attacked in my home by an armed group. I cannot return home because I have lost everything.’ Claudette, a teacher from Bangui, Central African Republic. For many people in CAR the conflict has left them with a profound sense of loss. Uprooted from homes and families, whole lives have had to be left behind. Pray that people will find the strength to start again, or begin to safely return home. Ask God to protect people’s abandoned homes from looting and further destruction, and that families will be re-united.
THE THIEF COMES ONLY TO STEAL AND KILL AND DESTROY; I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL, JOHN 10:10
‘Some of my neighbours were killed so I fled. I want peace so that everybody can go back to their homes.’ Isabelle, a wheelchair user from Central Africa Republic. Some of the hardest hit by the conflict are vulnerable people – mothers with young children, older people and people with disabilities or illnesses. Life was already a struggle, but the fighting has made their situations much worse. Pray that others will offer support, and help make sure they have enough food and basic necessities so they can support themselves.
A BRUISED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK, AND A SMOULDERING WICK HE WILL NOT SNUFF OUT. IN FAITHFULNESS HE WILL BRING FORTH JUSTICE, ISAIAH 42:3
‘I was a student, studying anthropology at university. My studies were stopped by the war and my spirit has been crushed.’ Jean-Paul, a student and father of two from Bangui, Central African Republic. It is not clear at the moment what the long-term effects of the conflict will be. People fleeing the fighting have also had to abandon jobs and education. The whole infrastructure of the country has been severely weakened and will take a long time to recover. Pray that, when the conflict ends, people will be able to pick up the pieces and find the strength to build a better future for CAR.
‘I WILL REPAY YOU FOR THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN,’ JOEL 2:25
Names have been changed to protect identities.
John Gravett – Tearfund Representative