Tanzania: Samia's Vatican Visit Key to Religious Diversity, Coexistence

Samia Suluhu Hassan's working visit to the Vatican signalled Tanzania's commitment to fostering religious freedom, which has been enhancing peace and social cohesion for the well-being of all people.

The Secretary General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Dr Charlse Kitima, told the 'Daily News' in an interview on Tuesday that the visit further heightened collaboration between the two countries in promoting peace and providing social services.

Father Dr Kitima said that religious freedom has enabled various religions, including the Roman Catholic Church, to perform their spiritual activities well while supporting socio-economic development efforts.

He noted that the required social infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, delivers quality service without discrimination. He said that such freedom has placed Tanzania on the Pope's global list of countries guaranteeing religious tolerance and collaborating with faith institutions to improve citizens' livelihoods.

"I commend our government for implementing a sustainable interfaith policy that binds together all religions," he said. In that regard, he said the Roman Catholic Church will continue investing in social service provision, such as hospitals, to complement the government's efforts, especially in underserved rural areas.

"Currently, the church offers services in almost every village across the country. We will continue to expand and construct infrastructure to serve all people," he said.

In building peace, Dr Kitima said the church will continue to preach social cohesion and understanding as a blueprint for national unity. He said the visit presents Tanzania as a regional and continental goodwill ambassador for peace, which other countries can emulate.

Dr Zakayo Benard, a Social Development Analyst based in Mwanza, appreciated the government's visionary efforts to offer a fair playing ground for all religions and partner with them in running some services. He cited the example of the Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, which was established through collaboration between the Catholic Church and the government and provides referral medical services in the Lake Zone.

President Samia met with Pope Francis on Monday in the Holy See, where they had bilateral talks on strengthening collaboration in providing health and education services, as well as promoting global peace and regional understanding.

AllAfrica publishes around 400 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.