Friday, June 18, 2010

Bishops' Statement: Insecurity In Kenya

We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is with great shock and disbelief that we, together with the rest of the world, witnessed the ugly scenes that befell our Christian sisters and brothers on the evening of Sunday the 13th 2010, at the Uhuru Park grounds in the Central Business District of Nairobi.

We condemn in the strongest words possible the atrocious crimes that were meted out on innocent Kenyans while conducting a prayer service. We extend solidarity with the Bishops and Pastors who organised this successful prayer meeting.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the departed and we pray for them to receive Divine comfort from the Almighty God. We pray for the deceased and urge all Kenyans to pray for the souls of these our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives while expressing their democratic right in “defense of life”. We are however surprise and shocked that someone decides to dishonorate the Government from this barbaric act without first waiting for the findings of the investigation of the police.

We also wish to condemn the cowardly acts of vandalism, defilement and irreverent that was witnessed at the Holy Family Basilica on the morning of Monday the 14th of June 2010. This attack was directed against “The Most Blessed Sacrament” which all Catholics hold most Sacred. We deeply protest against this sought of vandalism, and condemn categorically the action of the instigators.

We wish to categorically state that we shall not be intimidated neither shall our resolve to oppose this flawed draft be dented. Indeed, we express our concern against the personal attacks that have been made through the media and in public against our church leaders simply because they in good conscience have chosen to oppose the draft constitution and urge Kenyans to reject it as a document that is not good for our country.

We as a country have already witnessed firsthand where this slippery road of violence and intolerance can lead us. We call upon all Kenyans to join hands and resist any elements amongst us that are bent on dividing the country or taking us back to the dark days of violence. We also call upon Kenyans to be calm and accommodating of one another’s views whether for or against the constitution.

It should not be lost in our minds that we must continue as a nation, whatever may be the decision we make on the historic 4th of August, and that God will still be with us to guide us forward.

The Catholic Church in Kenya calls on all Kenyans to be united and to speak with one voice of love, respect and understanding regardless of colour, religion, tribe, race or creed, or even position taken on the proposed constitution. We also call upon all Kenyans of goodwill to remember our country in prayers that we may all learn to live harmoniously together with love and unity.

Signed for and on behalf of ALL Archbishops and Bishops

His Eminence John Cardinal Njue
Chairman Kenya Episcopal Conference

Cc National Council of Churches of Kenya
Att. Canon Peter Karanja

Cc Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
Att. Rev. Dr. Willy Mutiso

Date: June 15, 2010

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