June 10, 2013

The head of the Tanzanian bishops' conference warned of a growing threat from militant Islamists and urged police and government to act more forcefully against violence and intimidation.

"The recent campaigns can't be seen as isolated or separate," Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, Tanzania, told Catholic News Service in a phone interview May 23.

"Christian-Muslim relations have always been cordial here, which is why we're astonished by the latest violence.

We conclude it must reflect interference from outside," he said.

"Ordinary Muslims have nothing against the Christian religion and Catholic faith – the only ones who do are fundamentalists, pressed and influenced from outside."