Thousands of Tanzanian Catholics joined by the country’s President, John Magufuli and other dignitaries, on Sunday celebrated 150 years of evangelization at Bagamoyo, a coastal district, 51 kilometres from Dar-es-Salaam. His Holiness Pope Francis’s official representative at the celebrations in Tanzania, John Cardinal Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi led the faithful in the festivities. In his homily, the Cardinal called upon various sectors of Tanzanian society to honour their various responsibilities, duties and to uphold peace in the country.

As reported by Vatican news, Cardinal Njue told the congregation gathered in Bagamoyo that “This is the time to question ourselves; whether the seeds of peace preached by the first missionaries in the early days of the Church have borne fruit and been protected.” The Archbishop Emeritus of Arusha, Josaphat Louis Lebulu said, “the next phase of the Church in Tanzania should be dedicated to investing in sustainable pastoral strategies that would more profoundly deepen the faith of Christians.”

Archbishop Lebulu aso said “Bagamoyo was chosen for the Jubilee Celebrations because it was previously a place of pain and torture with many African slaves sold and exported from the port. However, with the arrival of the missionaries, Bagamoyo transformed into a place of redemption.”