Mangochi police officers Tuesday raided the same government premises that Muslim Jamaat community representatives had seized from the government a few weeks ago, report media sources. Malawi is among the smallest countries in Africa, with Christianity as the chosen religion practiced by the majority of residents. Mangochi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland.
Police officers arrested six Muslims who were guarding the premises, reports Afriem.
The officers had erected numerous road blocks, indicating the buildings are illegally occupied by the Muslims, reported Nyasa Times.
However, Afriem stated there was an intervention from the State House when Pastor Timothy Khoviwa, presidential adviser on religious matters, brought in Sheikh Kasinde and his Muslim colleague to the Mangochi Police station for a meeting. Khoviwa is founder of Word of Faith Temple International.
The Muslims reportedly apologized for taking the government officers without consent, and asked Khoviwa to extend their apology to the State President.
"As such, nobody has been charged, and the situation remains quite and normal in the district," stated a State Police spokesperson.
The Muslims reportedly had threatened to also invade some Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) premises, as well as new government offices known as Town Hall, claiming they belonged to some members of the Muslim community.
Malawi is a majority Christian country, with a significant Muslim minority. According to the Malawi Religion Project run by the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, approximately 68 percent of the population identify as Christians, 25 percent as Muslim and 5 percent as "other." CIA statistics from 1998 indicated 82 percent of the population was Christian and 13 percent Muslim.
The largest Christian groups in Malawi are the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. The CCAP is the biggest Protestant denomination in Malawi with 1.3 million members. There are smaller Presbyterian denominations such as the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Malawi and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Malawi. There are also smaller numbers of Anglicans, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses (approximately 89,000), evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventists.
Most of the Muslim population is Sunni, of either the Qadriya or Sukkutu groups, with few Ahmadiyya Muslims. Other religious groups within the country include Rastafarians, Hindus, Baha'is (0.2 percent) and around 300 Jews. Atheists make up about 4 percent of the population, although this number may include people who practice traditional African religions.