SLAVE TRADE: Church of England apologises

ZANZIBAR: LEADER of the Anglican, Communion and Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby prayed for forgiveness on behalf of the church for the misery it committed against Africans during the slave trade.

“I come before you and I repent on behalf of our church; I ask for forgiveness,” Archbishop Welby said, as he knelt before Tanzanian Anglican Bishop Maimbo Mndolwa.

He added: “I cannot promise what I can’t keep because I cannot write a cheque; I cannot send you money; the church rules prohibit me; even the president can’t.” He apologised after research showed the Church of England’s investment fund has links to the slave trade.

The investigation, initiated by the Church Commissioners, a charity managing the Church’s investment portfolio, revealed that for more than 100 years the fund invested large sums of money in a company responsible for transporting slaves.

The fund, known in the 18th century as Queen Anne’s Bounty, has now developed into a £10.1bn investment trust. That was after his visit to the Anglican Church in Zanzibar to meet with political and religious leaders. The Archbishop was making the long-planned visit at the invitation of the Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, the Most Reverend Maimbo Mndolwa. He met with the President of Zanzibar Dr Hussein Mwinyi, Anglican bishops and clergy, as well as different faith leaders on the Island.

On Sunday, the Archbishop preached at the Eucharist service in Christ Church Cathedral, which is built on the site of an old slave market, where he delivered a speech on healing, reconciliation and redemption.

ALSO READ: THIS DAY IN HISTORY: British accepts eradication of slave trade

Equally, he promised to raise the question of Zanzibar before the UK parliament, noting that there is little he could do to compensate the islanders. ter of State, President’s Office George Simbachawene read a statement on behalf of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to implore Tanzanians to defend and sustain peace, unity and freedom for the country to prosper spiritually, socially and economically.

“Peace and unity are our country’s treasures that identify us as Tanzanians, globally,” he pointed out at a reconciliation mass at Mkunazini Anglican Cathedral here.

President Samia commended the Anglican Church for its role in the development of the country, appreciating the social services especially in education and health to the poor, orphans. She reaffirmed the government’s commitment to work closely with all religious institutions to speed up social and economic development of the people.

The president reminded Tanzanians of the coming civic elections, asking them to turn out in big numbers to elect good leaders for the country’s development.

“It’s our obligation to elect good leaders for the development of our nation; let’s take it serious and conduct it peacefully,” the president said.

Speaking at the event, Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi said the government will continue cooperating with all religious institutions and provide them with ample atmosphere to preach the word of God. In the course, Dr Mwinyi nodded to a request by the Anglican Church to declare June 6th as a special commemoration day for the abolishment of slave trade.

He also waived tax on tourism revenues collected from the historical Mkunazini Anglican Christ Church, directing the ministry of finance and planning, Urban west regional commissioner’s office and the district administration to handle the issue.

Related Articles

Back to top button