Dar es Salaam, 05 May, 2020 / 5:09 am (ACI Africa).
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli has appreciated the Catholic Bishops in the East African nation for standing firm in faith and offering public Masses amid calls to suspend public worship as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“I congratulate the president of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Archbishop Nyaisonga, who says we are in prayer,” President Magufuli said Sunday, May 3 referencing the Local Ordinary of Mbeya Archdiocese, Gervas John Mwasikwabhila Nyaisonga and added, “We will continue to serve the nation, we will continue to serve Him, worshipping our God and fulfilling our oaths,”
President Magufuli who has drawn criticism both at home and abroad for adopting a more relaxed approach to COVID-19 compared to the restrictions in other African countries said, “This is a good time to proclaim what we believe.”
“There are many well-established witnesses, such as the Ugandan martyrs, and other apostles who stood firm during difficult times; religious leaders, remind us of this,” he said in Chato, his native region located in Northwestern Tanzania where he presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister.
President Magufuli, a practicing Catholic, quoted Biblical examples of people who turned out victorious in the face of challenges saying, “Jonah lived in the bowels of the fish; some were thrown into the fire; there were those who were thrown in the lion’s den but the lion didn't eat them because they trusted God.”