7 November 2006

Kenya: Leaders Express Doubt Over Christian Political Party

The recent launch of a Christian political party in Kenya could further divide the East African nation along religious lines, Church leaders argue.

On 28 October, the Rev David Githii, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), who backs a campaign for "the rule of God", led some church leaders and politicians in launching the Agano Party.

Agano (Kiswahili for Covenant) and another three parties sympathetic to Christian ideals are seeking to have "200 people of integrity" voted into parliament in next year's general election, Ecumenical News International reports.

Certain Catholic, Methodist and Anglican leaders have opposed this development, but the PCEA, Evangelical and Pentecostal leaders back the formation of a Christian political bloc. They assert that the ongoing political injustices signal clearly that the time for ungodly rule is over, and God is ready to bring in theocratic rule.

"The Church is supposed to be the conscience of society. When Kenyans are misled, it should provide guidance, but not take leadership," the Rev. Wellington Sanga, the secretary of the Methodist Church of Kenya, told ENI last week.

"We're opposed to the churches moving to take over Parliament and government. Our role should be like in the Old Testament where prophets rebuked the leaders who led people astray," said Sanga, noting that Kenyan laws require the separation of State and religion.

He added that Christian leaders in politics had failed to be shining role models for the people.

Media last week quoted Catholic Bishop Martin Kivuva of Machakos warning, "If we go that way, all churches will start forming parties and I don't think this is the right move because it will be impossible to engage political leaders."

Still, Kivuva said Christians could vote for an individual candidate who agreed with their aspirations.

Copyright © 2006 Catholic Information Service for Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.