Churches continue to urge and support dialogue in Kenya

By agency reporter
January 10, 2008

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has called upon all Kenyan political leaders to keep moving towards dialogue while praising the countries' churches for their role in peacemaking.

"While the situation continues to be critical, some signs of hope can be seen", Dr Kobia said in a public statement yesterday.

He welcomed recent developments in the country and expressed hope that the "political stalemate" may be broken.

"We call on the political leaders, especially President Kibaki and the Honourable Raila Odinga, to refrain from taking decisions that might frustrate the process towards dialogue for a peaceful resolution of the conflict", he added.

Violence tainted with ethnical components erupted across the country following a disputed presidential election last December. Reports estimate that about 600 people have been killed, while some 200,000 have fled their homes.

Dr Kobia praised the work of the Kenyan churches, which have been "strongly involved in resolving the situation and calling for peace", at a time when their "ministry of healing and reconciliation" is deeply needed.

"Church leaders must continue to rise above ethnic differences and politics and call for an end to the disputes", he said.

The WCC statement also appeals to churches around the world to "continue to pray for the Kenyan people and churches and to provide humanitarian aid through ecumenical partners" in the country.

Founded in 1948, the World Council of Churches brings together 347 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.


Full text of the 9 January statement on Kenya by the WCC general secretary

All Africa Conference of Churches

National Council of Churches of Kenya

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