Tanzania, March 9, 2021
The Orthodox faithful of Tanzania are rejoicing, having received a wonderful gift from Moscow just in time for Lent.
“We managed to give a little help to the Orthodox in Tanzania,” reports the missionary priest Fr. George Maximov. We printed and sent the local faithful 500 copies of the prayer book in Swahili, 500 icons of the Savior, 500 icons of the Theotokos, and 500 stickers with the Orthodox cross.”
Everything was printed in Moscow and sent to needy priest with growing flocks who also support the canonical position of the Orthodox Church regarding the Ukraine crisis. After Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria unilaterally entered into communion with the Ukrainian schismatics in 2019, a number of faithful priests in Africa voiced their protest and their support for the suffering Church in Ukraine, including 19 priests from Tanzania.
Unfortunately, even 500 prayer books aren’t enough for everyone, so the priests are distributing them to the most active parishioners first.
“The Orthodox Tanzanians are very happy and grateful. They are very short on literature. Next up is the publication of a catechism in Swahili,” writes Fr. George.
Orthodoxy is rapidly growing in Tanzania. More than 500 Tanzanians received Holy Baptism in February 2019, and another 230 in January 2020. In September, a mass wedding for the Orthodox faithful of the Maasai tribe in Tanzania was held, and another 80 were baptized in January this year, followed by another 40 earlier this month.
Last February, the first Orthodox monastery in Tanzania celebrated its first Divine Liturgy.