LWF offers condolences to church and people of Tanzania following President Magufuli’s death

In February 2019, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge paid a pastoral visit to the ELCT, hosted by Presiding Bishop Dr Fredrick Shoo. The LWF delegation and other ELCT leaders worshipped at the Gezaulole parish in the Northern Diocese. Photo: ELCT
In February 2019, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge paid a pastoral visit to the ELCT, hosted by Presiding Bishop Dr Fredrick Shoo. The LWF delegation and other ELCT leaders worshipped at the Gezaulole parish in the Northern Diocese. Photo: ELCT

Junge encourages church to continue efforts to curb spread of COVID-19 

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has offered condolences and prayers to the people and church in Tanzania following the death of President John Magufuli.  

In a letter to Presiding Bishop Dr Fredrick Onael Shoo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge shared his concern that the president’s death occurs in a country grappling “with anxiety and fears over the continuous spread of the COVID-19 virus,” adding “bereavement to people already bereaved by multiple losses of life in their own families and communities.”  

The country’s Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced Magufuli’s death on 17 March.  

“We pray for the people of Tanzania in these moments of stress and pain” and “trust in God’s ongoing presence,” Junge wrote. 

“We pray for the people of Tanzania in these moments of stress and pain and trust in God’s ongoing presence.”
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge

Referring to Shoo’s recent call on church leaders to be strong advocates of preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Junge said the Lutheran communion had “great respect for your public voice and your care for the people for the sake of the gospel.” 

He thanked the ELCT leader for speaking “openly about the virus, assisting people to understand the seriousness of the situation,” and advising them to “protect their own and their neighbor’s lives.” Junge also commended Shoo’s advocacy for collaborative processes among all stakeholders to address the challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Reflecting on the witness offered by the ELCT, he added, “you have proclaimed the fullest dimensions of the gospel of Jesus Christ: it is God’s intention that all may have life, and have it in abundance.” 

The General Secretary affirmed the Lutheran communion’s solidarity with the ELCT, its leaders and pastors as they accompany congregation members and communities in their joint efforts to curb the spread of the virus. “No more lives should be lost,” Junge concluded.  

By LWF/P. Mumia