Christians stampede to get 'blessed oil' leaves at least 20 dead

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Christians stampede to get 'blessed oil' leaves at least 20 dead 1

Hundreds of people attended the church service in Moshi town, near the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, on Saturday evening when the stampede broke out. People rushed to get anointed with “blessed oil” as it promised to bring prosperity and cure for disease to worshippers who walk on the special oil. At least 20 people were killed in the incident, including five children.

Moshi district commissioner Kippi Warioba said: “Twenty people died and 16 others were injured in the incident.

“The stampede occurred when the worshippers were rushing to get anointed with blessed oil.”

Pastor Boniface Mwamposa, who led the church service, has been during huge crowds by promising prosperty and cure for disease to worshippers who walk on what he describes as “blessed oil”.

Authorities fear the death toll could rise due to the size of the crowd and dark conditions when the crush occurred.

Mr Warioba added: “The incident took place at night and there were many people, so there is a possibility that more casualties could emerge. We are still assessing the situation.”

Police have closed off the main gate of Majengo ground township, where the incident took place.

Tanzania has seen a rise in recent years in the number of “prosperity gospel” pastors, who promise to lift people out of poverty and perform what they call miracle cures.

Thousands of people in the nation of 55million flock to Pentecostal churches, whose main source of income is “tithe”, the 10 percent or so of income that worshippers are asked to contribute.


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