AFRICA/KENYA - Christian leaders ask Muslims "for a deliberate and concerted effort" to stop the violence of the Shabaab

Friday, 12 December 2014

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We want to see a deliberate and concerted effort by our Muslim brothers and sisters. They (Muslim leaders) 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", say the Christian leaders of Kenya in a joint statement entitled "The State of The Nation".
According to CISA and CANAA Catholic agencies, the statement submitted to the press on December 10, was signed by Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist religious leaders and African Inland Church.
Christian leaders claim to have "reflected deeply with heavy hearts" on various issues of national concern after the recent attacks carried out by Al Shabaab Somali fundamentalists. "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 statement, referring to the recent massacre of 22 November and 2 December in Mandera County (north-eastern Kenya), in which more than 60 people were killed on the basis of their religious affiliation (see Fides 24 November and 2 December 2014).
"This year alone, over 20 attacks have been recorded in the country leaving behind a trail of death and destruction where over 200 Kenyans have lost their lives" the leaders recalled.
"The reality of this situation regrettably leads us to the conclusion that these attacks, perpetuated by people claiming to be Al Shabaab, are taking a religious angle", say the religious leaders who call upon all Kenyans "to avoid statements that further incite and divide the Country along religious lines".
The Church leaders concluded by also urging Kenyan politicians to desist from politicizing issues of national security, insisting that debates on insecurity be characterized with sobriety, realism and the fostering of national unity. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/12/2014)