Religion and the State in Tanzania

Simeon Mesaki


For the first two decades of independence Tanzania enjoyed an apparently tolerant and cordial religious climate. But since the departure of the father of the nation, Julius Nyerere from active politics in 1985 deepening religious tensions and strains began to emerge not only between the state and major religions in the country but also inter and intra-religious strife became common. Since then the country has witnessed deepening state-religious tensions and inter- and intra-religious schisms and conflicts. This paper outlines the contentious relations between the two main religious faiths (Islam and Christianity) vis-à-vis the state since colonial times (German and British) to the seemingly tranquil ujamaa period and the more contentious post- liberalisation era.
Key words: Tanganyika; Tanzania; German; British; Colonial; Religion; State; Relations; Christianity; Islam

Resumé: Pour les deux premières décennies de l'indépendance, la Tanzanie a connu une atmosphère religieuse apparemment tolérante et chaleureuse. Mais depuis le départ du Père de la nation, Julius Nyerere des politiques actives en 1985, des tensions et des souches religieuses ont commencé à émerger. Les aggravations sont apparues entre l'Etat et les grandes religions dans le pays, et les conflits inter et intra-religieux sont devenu communs. Depuis, le pays a été témoin de l'approfondissement des tensions état-religieuses, des schismes et des conflits inter-et intra-religieux. Le présent article décrit les relations controversées entre les deux principales confessions religieuses (Islam et christianisme) vis-à-vis de l'Etat depuis l'époque coloniale (Allemagne et Angleterre) jusqu'à la période apparemment tranquille d'Ujamaa et l'ère post-coloniale la plus controversée .
Mots-clés: Tanganyika; Tanzanie; Allemagne; Angleterre; Colonial; Religion; Etat; Relations; Christianisme; Islam


Tanganyika; Tanzania; German; British; Colonial; Religion; State; Relations; Christianity; Islam;Tanganyika; Tanzanie; Allemagne; Angleterre; Colonial; Religion; Etat; Relations; Christianisme


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