Persecuted christians

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Since 2007, the town of Buseresere has been the centre of tensions over the unwritten law that only Muslims are allowed to slaughter animals and all meat must be halal. For meat to be considered halal, the butcher must be a Muslim, must face Mecca and must say Islamic prayers when he kills the animal.

This unwritten rule is unconstitutional, as Tanzania guarantees freedom of religion, and is also offensive to Christians who do not wish to eat halal meat - some believe it is blasphemous and could be spiritually crippling. There is also an added economic side to this, as Muslims have been enraged over losing income to Christian butchers.

This controversy led to violence in February 2013, when Muslims began rioting in Buseresere after a non-Muslim butcher prepared meat for a Christian funeral reception. For two days they looted Christian butchers, urinated on the meat, and assaulted other Christian business people. Several were injured. Evangelist Mathayo Kachilla was killed in the riots; he was on his way to a friend's house when he received fatal machete wounds.

Mathayo was a hardworking man who provided well for his family and built a house for them with his own hands. He was also known as a spirited evangelist whose salvation messages led many to Jesus and resulted in regular baptisms.

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Source: Open Doors

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