Mathayo Kachili, pastor of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church in Buseresere, Tanzania—which is affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada—was beheaded when a group of religious extremists attacked Christians at the church on Monday, February 11.
"Escalating hostility and violence toward Christians in various places in Africa causes us grave concern for our brothers and sisters, and especially for our pastors," states Mike McClaflin, AG World Missions regional director for Africa. "Our prayers are with the family of Pastor Mathayo Kachili as well as the other pastors of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Tanzania and missionaries from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada laboring in East Africa."
Barnabas Mtokambali, the Tanzania AG general superintendent, encouraged Christians in the Tanzania AG to remain Christlike in their faith.
"Our response as a church is not one of violence and hatred, reflecting the attitude of those committing such crimes, but that of Christ and reflecting his image by loving and praying for those who humiliate and persecute us, and not holding such sins against them," Mtokambali says.
In light of the tragic events in Tanzania and ongoing persecution throughout the world, AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis urges Christians to increase their prayers for the suffering church.
"We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the context of this tragedy in East Africa and for the suffering church worldwide," Mundis says. "Following Christ has a price, as He said it would. The faithful obedience and sacrifice of believers like Pastor Kachili should motivate us to even more fervent and faithful prayer for the many who are suffering for the name of Christ."
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