Mission - Resources - Stories

The Witness of the Church, Zanzibar

The creating of the new Diocese of Zambia and the presence of the Bishop on the Island strengthen the Church in their witness.  In a predominately Muslim society the visible presence of a church building is a significant witness to Christ and the Church.  The mission strategy of the Diocese in evangelism is to plant churches in areas were there is no Christian witness.  This begins with building some form of meeting place where a handful of Christians meet.  This gives a visible presence in the area and a place where people can come with their questions and needs.  In the early years of the Diocese four small churches were planted and although there was persecution with one church being burnt, the young Christians persevered and the church began to grow.

Cathedral and Church plant
Cathedral and Church plant
Photo Credit: ACO

Another strong witness on the Island is the Anglican Cathedral.  The Cathedral is built on the site of the slave market that traded with North Africa.  The very spot where the slaves were tied to a pole for ‘auction’ is now clearly marked in the nave near the altar.  Winding down some stone steps that lead under the Church, the rooms where the slaves were ‘stored’ before moving on to another place tell their story today.  A memorial has been built in the grounds of the Cathedral below ground level that portrays the suffering, humiliation and oppression faced by those early slaves.  The Cathedral is firstly a place of Christian Worship, discipleship and training.  It is also a place of evangelism as the story of the slaves is remembered and told, by evangelists, to the many tourists and visitors who come daily to learn of the past.  They also hear the story of the One who also suffered to bring freedom to a sinful world.

Marjorie Murphy
Director for Mission and Evangelism