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

By Frieder Ludwig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX

THE BASIS OF THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE

Despite all the theological differentiations, a climate of cooperation developed rapidly between the churches and the state. Although the Christian Council objected to the way in which the newly drafted constitution relegated the question of religious freedom and the practice of faith to the margins, they did not intend to have the independence of the churches anchored constitutionally. No alteration of the constitution was made to accommodate the demands of the churches. The church leaders were much more concerned with maintaining the existing good relations than with beginning a conflict to have them recognised in the constitution.'

The churches also accepted the proclamation of the republic in December 1962, exactly one year after independence. The abolition of the constitutional monarchy, whose head, Queen Elizabeth, was also the highest representative of the Anglican Church, caused little excitement among the Anglicans and even some pleasure among the Roman Catholics. Pope John XXIII wrote to Cardinal Rugambwa:

On this auspicious occasion, it gives us much pleasure to express our
warm felicitations to you, Beloved Son, to the worthy President and to
the government and people of the country. It is our fervent prayer that
this important and significant milestone in the history of Tanganyika may
herald an era of continued progress, during which the new republic will
enjoy the heavenly gifts of peace, happiness, and prosperity.2

Whenever there was a conflict the churches sent a delegation to the President or to the minister concerned. The main Protestant institution which served as a medium for such contacts was the Christian Council. H.G. Schatte, the General Secretary of the CCT reported in this development:

' L.W. Swantz, Church, Mission and Slate Relations in Pre- and Post-Independent Tanza-
nia
, (1965), pp. 25, 26.

2 Pope John XXIII. to Laurean Cardinal Rugambwa, Vatican, 26. 11. 1962,
quoted in: S. Rweyemamu/T. Msambure, The Catholic Church in Tanzania (Peramiho,
1989), p. 58.

-61-

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