On Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, Christians live in a climate of fear. It’s a place where a young man flees the island to escape death threats from his Muslim family, and a Christian who accidentally burned pages of the Quran opts for jail by entering a guilty plea rather than face certain death from a furious mob.

Yusuf Abdalla, 23, fled to Moshi, mainland Tanzania, after his family threatened to kill him in June. Having converted to Christianity in October 2010 after hearing the gospel on the radio, he was enrolled at a vocational school in Zanzibar city to learn tailoring when his family found out in March that he had left Islam.

The beating he then received from family members left him with injuries to his head, hand and torso, as well as a serious mouth wound and substantial loss of blood, said an area pastor who requested anonymity.

“The family then took back the tailoring machine which they had bought him,” the pastor said. “They also vowed not to support his training.”

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