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The Shortest War

[Photo: Boy in Tanzania reading a Christian book]

Most church services, movies, and birthday parties last longer than an 1896 war between Great Britain and Zanzibar. At that time, the sultan was the most important official in Zanzibar. (A sultan is the leader of a Muslim country.) But Great Britain controlled Zanzibar. A new sultan came to power, and Great Britain did not approve of him.

The new sultan and Great Britain gathered their weapons and forces to attack each other. The fighting started at about 9 a.m. on August 27th and ended about 40 minutes later. Great Britain was the winner. The war is said to have been the shortest in history.

Britain gave up control of Zanzibar in 1963. In 1964, Zanzibar joined Tanganyika to form Tanzania.

Growing Conflict
Today in Tanzania, some radical Muslims give Christians a hard time. Radical Islam is spreading from northern Africa into Tanzania. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

On the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, where most of the people are Muslims, Christians have faced persecution for a long time. People who leave Islam to follow Jesus sometimes have to flee their homes when family members kick them out.

But in recent times, Christians on the mainland of Tanzania are having the same kinds of problems. Riots have broken out in some places, and churches have been burned.


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