The church was built in 1873 (ten years in the process) immediately after the abolition of the slave trade, and on one of the walls hangs a wooden cross carved from the tree under which David Livingstone’s heart was buried in Zambia.
Livingstone was appalled by the evils of the slave trade and worked tirelessly in campaigning for its abolition. Zanzibar was the centre to which the millions of slaves captured in east Africa were taken to be sold in the Middle East and India.
Once the slave trade was ended, the slave market area was chosen as the site for the first church on the island, signifying the redemption that mankind has received in Christ. Powerful thought!
Underneath the church site are two of the slave chambers that have been kept as part of the memorial to those who suffered there. All the others were sealed off when the church was built. We were able to see the dark, dank airless chambers where men, women and children were crammed in waiting to be auctioned…it was crushing to think of the suffering that humans have caused each other.