B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #52
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #52
June 16, 2005
I Cor. 16:9 For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
THIS IS A REPORT FROM THE LCEA IN TANZANIA ON MUSLIMS AND THEIR WORK WITH THEM. IT BEGINS A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON ISLAM
Because Arabs were among the first people to come affected Swahili language, because many Arabic words were introduced in Swahili language. Arabs succeeded to convince indigenous people that they are one so they easily taught them the quran different from Portuguese, Germans and Britains who used Swahili language as their medium of communication.
Arabs started supply Arabic commodites to the indigenous families, one after another. That situation made the relationship with Arabs stronger than with other nations from the West. Within this relationship Arabs encouraged indigenous people to become Mulim and went to mosques to worship. People were told that Muslims are not required to offer large amounts of offerings eg. Money, etc. People of the coast compared Islamic religion with their former religion of worshiping gods and ancestors and found that there is no difference. Therefore they decided to follow Islamic religion. People among the family members encouraged each other to join Islamic religion because they were promised that after this life they will afterwards live with gods in heaven.
DAR-ES-SALAAM CITY AND COASTAL AREA
In Dar es Salaam City and with coastal area, the population of Muslims is bigger than the population of Christians. Since the beginning of Islamic religion Muslims were strictly prohibited to join Christianity. Christians were regarded as unclean people. Any Muslim who happened to join Christianity was regarded as casted out and was totally rejected by the family. As a result, most of Muslims remained very faithful to their Islamic religion, from generation to generation.
THE COMING OF CHRISTIANITY:
When Christianity came, Christians declared that they could offer education and health services where they can build schools and hospitals. They told people that, those who are sick could get treatment for their sicknesses such as headaches, stomach problems, etc. People went to these stations and gots or bulls as in Muslims system of witchcrafting in healings for demons possessed.Then people compared to these two kinds of health services, which were offered by Muslims and Christians and found that the services offered by Christians were very good more than that of Muslims. Because of health services Muslim people were ready to get treatments from Christian hospitals but they were not interested to join Christianity. Even nowadays Muslims attend spiritual open-air crusades because they want to be healed from their diseases but they are not ready to be baptized and become Christians. It is very difficult for a Muslim to become a Christian. A Muslim can talk good things upon Christianity but they are very reluctant to become a Christian. If it happened that a Muslim decides to be baptized and become a Christian his or her relatives will call him or her at the family meeting and tell him or her that being a Christian is very dangerous because he/she is going to eat pork which is a great taboo in Islamic community,and that Christianity is dirtiness. So Islam are hypocrites, because they say that Christianity is a good religion but practically they are against Christianity. In every part, along the coastal area where there is Christian community, it is so because the missionaries started schools and hospital and vocational training schools in such areas. Such wards people were interested by Christianity and started life there, and then they were baptized.
EVANGELISM TO MUSLIMS
By now, we need modern evangelism strategies. During the period of 1950-1970 there was a cinema van, which was used to show Jesus Film and Christianity activities and preaching Good news by film. This van was used to make Christianity shows in many villages for such shows. The van was very effective to the work of evangelism. Together with this van, there were choir teams and a group of preachers numbering up to 6 people. There must be a cinema man who has been trained for such a work. By the time being we are making house-to-house evangelism and in other places we give clothes, some foodstuffs and the Love of Christ to them.
THE CURRENT SITUATION OF PEOPLE IN THE COASTAL AREAS.
These people are economically very poor. The reasons behind is that, they depend on small scale farming activities that could not surfice their daily needs because they produce very small amount of food and cash crops to the land being unproductive. In some houses or families, they could even not to be able to drink tea in the morning, they economically live under 0.5 US dollar per day. They are proud of their Islamic religion when they see that they are many. They say Christianity is a religion of people from mainland tribes and Islamic religion is for people living in coastal areas. This is a very strong idea among the people of coastal areas even nowadays.
Prepared by Rev. Ajuaye King homelia Dar es Salaam Tanzania