No Place for Violence

ELCT bishops at the church’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013. Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen
ELCT bishops at the church’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013. Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen

LWF Expresses Solidarity With Church and Victim of Explosion in Tanzania

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has expressed its concern over the explosion at the Lutheran hostel in Mwanza, Lake Victoria Diocese on 5 May.

In a letter to presiding Bishop Alex G Malasusa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) LWF General Secretary Rev Martin Junge expresses solidarity with those affected by the explosion, the injured victim and her family.

“We know of the many ways in which your church has been actively contributing at all levels of society to healthy communities where violence doesn’t have a place and the respect and the dignity of each human being is upheld. We pray for the authorities so that their response to the current challenge is guided by wisdom and diligence” Junge writes.

The origin of the homemade explosive device which was placed on the church premises and seriously harmed a maid working at the rest house is yet unknown, according to authorities. “We don’t know what is happening to us,” ELCT Bishop Alex G Malasusa says, emphasizing that ELCT is not blaming any political group or religion.

He is urging authorities to investigate the cause for the explosion. “People have a right to feel safe. We hope that the government can do more to protect them,” Malasusa says.

He also encourages Christians not to be afraid of attending worship. “Keep coming and pray that this spirit of hatred will not spread in our country,” he says, adding that “it is high time for religious leaders to encourage people to work for peace.”

The violence coincides with an interfaith meeting of Christian and Muslim religious leaders in the capital of Dar es Salaam. “We encourage you to let the current meetings you are having in Dar es Salaam bear witness to your ongoing deep commitment to work at all levels of society towards creating and upholding communities who live together in justice and peace.”, LWF General Secretary Junge writes, reminding Tanzanian Christians of Saint Paul’s exhortation to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

“Let this word guide the prayers and reflections of your church as it continues engaging in God’s works of reconciliation”, Junge concluded.