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From IPP Media:
Bishop says superstition behind Tanzania`s woes:
26 Dec 2008
By Khalfan Said and Njonanje Samwel
Bishop Olmomeo of the ELCT Morogoro Diocese has said that belief in witchcraft is at the centre of major problems that Tanzania faces today.
He made the statement yesterday during Christmas prayers which were held at the national level in Morogoro town. The bishop warned that if the trend was left unattended, the future of the country would be in jeopardy.
Citing the recent wave of albino killings, the bishop said the trend was mainly contributed by decline of people`s religious faith as well as decrease the fear of God.
He said witchcraft beliefs were at the core of the country`s problems, and immediate intervention from both members of the public and the government was needed.
``The Church, Christians and the whole nation are now in deep fear. The killing of innocent albinos has now spread to larger parts of the country.
People are now being hunted like wild animals as criminals search for their body parts. How comes that a human being is treated as a commodity?`` asked Bishop Olmomeo.
He said; ``The killings clearly show that people do not love each other. There is a fall of faith and God`s mercy among the people.
The government and the whole nation should carefully examine the causes of the killings and take immediate action to stop the barbaric acts.``
He further said; ``In the mid 1970s, there were killings of people who were bald headed. The trend shows that this craze for humans body parts is associated with superstition.
It changes form from time to time, depending on the market.
We should now be careful as the killers might turn from albinos to killing people who are tall, fat or with certain body appearance.``
He also took swipe at preachers who were driven by the power of wealth. The bishop said such evangelists mislead their followers by telling them to join their ministries as the only way of becoming rich.
``Of recent, a number of preachers have been preaching about richness and wealth. These evangelists contribute to decline of faith because once their followers don`t become rich; they become disappointed and turn to other alternatives, particularly witchcraft. I appeal to my fellow preachers to preach the true words of our Lord God,`` he said.
In Dar es Salaam, Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), Dr. Alex Malasusa, warned that the country had reached a point in which villains were becoming heroes and those who were all out to fight evil were being ridiculed and demonised.
Dr Malasusa also spoke strongly against albino killings, saying those behind the evil actions went not only going against God\'s teachings but also Tanzania\'s tradition of peaceful co-existence.
``Tanzanians must fight these evils with all their strength,`` the Archbishop said during a Christmas homily at Azania Front Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
``The nation can no longer stand united if people are being killed simply because they are albinos. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour, we should condemn these killings in the strongest terms and unite in bringing all those responsible before the law,`` he said.
The Archbishop said it was wrong to praise wrong doers and paint black those who stood for good governance.
``Wrong doers should no be praised for the sins they have committed. This goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord,`` he said.
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
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