Church leaders plead for peace in Kenyan turmoil

Kobia, Tutu and others
Religious leaders are condemning postelection violence in Kenya that some observers say evokes memories of ethnic violence in Rwanda almost 14 years ago.

An Assemblies of God church in western Kenya was targeted January 1, and at least 30 people were killed after it was set aflame by an angry mob following disputed presidential elections, held December 27.

“Now is the time to put the interests of the nation and the surrounding region above other concerns,” Samuel Kobia, the general secretary of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, said in a statement that also called upon Kenyan churches “to do their part in pursuing the common good of their communities and country.”

Kobia, a Kenyan Methodist, said churches need to play such a role “amid ominous signs of ethnically targeted hatred and violence. Homes, businesses, public buildings and places of worship must remain safe.”

 

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