Churches in Zanzibar have been under assault for decades.
Vandals attacked the Calvary Mission Church in Mwamboni, Zanzibar on Feb. 24 and Feb. 29, 2020. Before the attack, Pastor Philemon Mafilili, 51, said he had received threats from a local official.
This man had told the pastor to “leave as soon as possible, because the Muslim community does not want a church here.” On Feb. 24, a group of radical Muslims came to the church armed with machetes, hammers and a container of gasoline, intending to set the church on fire. Church members who were nearby intervened, but the attackers beat the pastor’s wife before running away. Five days later, they were back. This time they had machetes, axes and knives, and they assaulted the pastor, sending him to the hospital.