Church and State in Tanzania: Aspects of Changing Relationships, 1961-1994

By Frieder Ludwig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHURCHES TO
NATION-BUILDING

One of the reasons used to justify the introduction of the one-party system was that Tanzania was too poor to afford the conflicts which would result from a competition of different political parties. All parts of Tanzanian society were called upon to unite in their effort to fight ignorance, illness and poverty. The Church considered it to be its social responsibility to participate in this struggle. The General Secretary of the Christian Council, H.-G. Schatte, saw the churches role in the new order as follows:

Widespread efforts have been made and are being made in nation-build-
ing by two development plans, the application of which will profoundly
affect the social structure of life in Tanganyika. Needless to say that the
Churches of Tanganyika will in one way or another be deeply involved in
these changes and have, in fact, already been involved. New projects for
famine relief, resettlement, villagisation, industrialisation, community de-
velopment etc. have already drawn the churches into new activities.

Coordination of the various activities became increasingly important. In the Catholic Church Bishop Joseph Blomjous of Mwanza was commissioned to work out an ambitious programme which aimed to combine the many individual initiatives of the various Catholic agencies. Since Blomjous regarded the five East African countries Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi with their altogether sixty dioceses as a sociological unit, the programme ranged in dimensions which had never been thought of before. The result was a FiveYear Development Plan, which was approved by the bishops when they met in July 1961 to give the new Cardinal Rugambwa a ceremonial reception. In an outline of the programme it was stressed that it was attempted to continue existing work and to coordinate the plan with the projects of the Protestants as well as of the government. Although the programme was intended for the whole East African region, special consideration was given to Tanganyika. The proposals relating to this country were more detailed than the others and a

1 ELCT/ND Moshi 18/6 Christian Council of Tanganyika, Report of the Gen-
eral Secretary to the Annual Meeting.

-81-

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