The head of state made the call at the Azania Front Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam where he attended Easter mass despite being a Roman Catholic follower.
He said unity within diversity is the only way through which Tanzania can progress, warning that divisions among the wananchi for whatever reasons would only lead to destructiveness.
Magufuli stressed that divisive politics aimed at exploiting citizens along religious or tribal lines should be treated as a cancer and not allowed to take root in the country, seeing as it has caused so much suffering in other countries.
“For us to make any progress as a nation, we must unite and respect each other….after all, we are one and the same before God,” the president asserted.
Referring to the catchy Hapa Kazi Tu (It’s just about work, nothing else) slogan that he has adopted as his modus operandi, he used a Bible quote to drum his message home further.
“One who is unwilling to work, shall not eat," he said, quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10, amid thunderous applause from the church congregation.
He insisted that if citizens opt to unite and work hard, Tanzania as a country will neither remain poor nor continue to depend on aid from rich countries.
The country is so rich in resources that if all the people played their roles in a responsible manner, it could turn the corner and even become a member of the donor instead of beggar community, the president said.
Magufuli was welcomed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) Archbishop of Eastern and Coastal Diocese, Alex Malasusa, to offer an Easter greeting to the congregation at the end of the mass.
Malasusa noted that the president – known to be a devout Catholic - had decided to join the Lutheran faithful for one of Christianity’s most important celebratory occasions even though he hadn’t received a formal invitation beforehand.
The bishop called on Tanzanians to support their leader especially in his good-hearted crusade to end corruption in the country.
“If we really fear God, why then are there all these endless reports of corruption, and rituals involving the killing of people with albinism and elderly,” Malasusa queried.
At the very end of the service, Malasusa allowed President Magufuli and his wife Janeth to come forward and receive a special blessing.