// World Watch List


  • Leader: President John Magufuli
  • Population: 56.9 million (31.7 million Christians)
  • Main Religion: Christianity/Islam
  • Government: Democratic republic
  • World Watch List Rank: 33
  • Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism

Pressure on Christians is growing, with believers from Muslim backgrounds (BMBs) on Zanzibar affected the the most severely.

Violence against Christians is at a very high level, fuelled by increasing Islamic radicalism - particularly in Zanzibar, the coastal region of Tanzania and Bukoba in the north west. Religiously, Tanzania is split. Mainland Tanzania, historically, has been influenced by Christianity and socialism. The population of the Zanzibar Archipelago is mainly Muslim and wanting recognition from central government. A new draft constitution is making inclusion for Sharia court provision.

Read more about persecution in Tanzania

Please Pray 

  • For encouragement and perseverance for BMBs unable to worship or own a Bible, or under pressure to recant
  • For radical Islamists to experience a transformation of the heart
  • Teachings in some mosques are very negative towards Christianity. Pray that Islamic teachers will come to know the Lord and create positive change for Christians.


How we help

Open Doors has been involved with the church in Tanzania since the mid-1990s, but most of our work was focused on the island of Zanzibar. More recently, our assistance has included specific areas of the mainland. Much of our work focuses on providing literature and on developing church leaders, though it also includes livelihood support. Our work includes:

  • Cross cultural evangelism and legal awareness
  • Economic empowerment programmes
  • Trauma care and children's ministry
  • Theological training and leadership development.


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