“They cannot destroy … my heart or the heart of the flock.”
Raised in a Christian household in Tanzania, Pastor Charles placed his faith in Christ at a young age. Like many Tanzanians from the mainland, he moved to the island of Zanzibar hoping to find a better job opportunity. Unlike the rest of Tanzania, which is predominantly Christian, Zanzibar is 99% Muslim. Government leaders on the island appoint Muslim religious officials who actively work to eradicate Christianity from the island. Amid this clear opposition, Charles felt called by God to establish a church in a remote region of Zanzibar.
Pastor Charles has been threatened many times during his ministry work, including one incident in which a gunman entered his church and demanded that the pastor show himself. The gunman continued to yell and search frantically as Charles stood motionless behind the altar, but it soon became clear that the man couldn’t see Charles. The gunman eventually left and Charles’s life was spared.
Because of ongoing opposition, Charles has had to start over with five different churches during his nearly three decades of ministry in Zanzibar. Yet he remains committed to proclaiming the gospel to Muslims on the island. He knows persecution may visit him and his church again but refuses to let it prevent him from finishing the work to which God called him.
“They might destroy the building, but they cannot destroy … my heart or the heart of the flock.”