OVERVIEW: The government generally protects Christians from persecution, but they sometimes face persecution along the coastal areas, where large Muslim-majority populations have long traditions of Arab influence. Like many countries in Africa, there is a concerted effort by Arab countries to Islamize Tanzania by establishing Muslim businesses and schools throughout the country as well as electing Muslim officials into office and passing laws favoring Islam. The local churches in Tanzania are working to spread the gospel.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: The population is about half Christian and half Muslim, but only about 8 percent of the Christian population attends church. The Zanzibar archipelago is 99 percent Muslim
PERSECUTOR: Christians are persecuted by community members in Muslim-majority areas.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN TANZANIA: Christians can freely practice their faith but are oppressed and harassed in predominantly Muslim areas. Persecution ranges from family pressure to the burning of churches and homes. On Zanzibar Island, the local government is trying to quietly close churches, prevent new ones from starting and force pastors to leave. On Pemba Island, persecution is more overt; Christians are violently attacked. In Muslim majority areas, Christians, especially converts, are often ostracized and prevented from obtaining jobs.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: Bibles are readily available but are too expensive for many Christians.
VOM WORK: VOM supports Christians who are attacked or rejected because of their faith and provides Bibles.