KENYA: Promote Religious Tolerance, Christian Leaders Urge Muslims

NAIROBI, DECEMBER 11, 2014(CISA) – Leaders of Mainstream Christian Churches in Kenya have called on Muslims promote religious tolerance and help curb radicalization of youth in the country.

The leaders drawn from the Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and African Inland Church said this during a press conference on The State of The Nation at the All Saint Cathedral Nairobi, on Wednesday December 10.

“We want to see a deliberate and concerted effort by our Muslim brothers and sisters… They must move merely beyond condemning the spate of attacks targeting non-Muslims to initiating practical steps to the sympathisers of terror and helping us to build bridges between faiths and communities,” the leaders said in a joint statement sent to CISA.

The Church leaders said they had “reflected deeply with heavy hearts” and deliberated on various issues of national concern including the unprecedented levels of insecurity witnessed in the country over the last two years.

They noted how these attacks perpetuated by people claiming to be Al shabaab are taking a religious angle.

“The attacks which initially targeted Christian places of worship in Nairobi, Garissa and Mombasa are now directly targeting innocent Christians in public transport and their places of work,” said the church leaders.

On December 2, al-Shabab militants shot 36 quarry workers just a week after 28 non-Muslims, 21 of them teachers were hijacked in a bus and killed.

“If the government wants to restore confidence in its security system and security agents, more needs to be done in terms of counter terrorism measures and efficient response to terrorist attacks,” stated the clerics.

While acknowledging the challenges facing the country’s security organs in fighting terrorism, the leaders decried poor coordination between the National Intelligence Security Service, the Kenya Police Service and the entire police service.

They further urged politicians to desist politicizing issues of national security and called for “sober, realistic, debate on insecurity meant to foster national unity.”

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