ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - A former St. Petersburg Diocese priest has been shot and killed at a Zanzibar, Tanzania church, according to the Diocese's social media websites.
The Diocese posted Tuesday that 56-year-old Father Evaristus Mushi, a priest of the Diocese of Zanzibar, Tanzania, was killed as he arrived at the church for morning Mass Sunday on February 17.
The Libyan newspaper Daily Nation reported via police spokesman Mohammed Mhina that
Mushi was "blocked by two young men at the entrance of the church" and "one of the attackers shot him in the head."
According to the Diocese, Father Mushi first came to the Diocese of St. Petersburg as a graduate student from Duquesne University in the summer of 2001, serving at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Spring Hill. In November of that year, he was assigned as a parochial vicar at St. Benedict Parish in Crystal River.
In the statement, the Diocese added, "Please remember Father Mushi, his family and the faithful of Zanzibar in your prayers. Pray also for the protection of our Catholic priests and nuns throughout the world in these very troubling times."
Zanzibar's Christian community is a minority in the county, with an estimated three percent of the 1.2 million population, which is otherwise almost entirely Muslim, Daily Nation reports.
Mushi was a priest for 27 years.