4 July 2012

Kenya: Inter-Religious Council Slams Garissa Attacks

Photo: Capital FM
Police (file photo).

THE Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) have condemned the Garisa church attacks and further cautioned the public against blaming the attacks on religious conflict.

Subsequently the council, which brings together the Christians, Muslims and Hindu faulted the security apparatus for laxity that has led to continuous systematic attacks in the country since the government sent its troops to Somalia.

"We want to tell the cowards and demented individuals who are planners, supporters and perpetrators of these beastly and fiendish acts: You will fail. Kenyans will not fight a religious war and Christians will not leave Garisa or any other part of Kenya since we are all one. We shall continue to integrate and live as brothers and sisters in all parts of the country and we believe the forces of evil shall be defeated," said Adan Wachu who is councils chair and secretary general for Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem).

The head of the Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on his part said the attacks should not be used to pit Christian against Muslims. "Kenya isn't facing a religious conflict and this is what we are demonstrating today, and we will continue to work together as faith groups to strengthen our institutions so that they can work together in harmony to overcome these challenges," Wabukala said.

The group's moderator Bishop Bonifes Adoyo called on the government to take responsibility for the attacks. Adoyo blamed the government for failing to comprehend the criminals and deter further attacks. "Given the attack on the East Africa Pentecostal Church in Garisa on November 5 last year and the series of attacks on Christian congregations, it is unthinkable that another attack has been perpetrated with security agents caught flatfooted. By now, we had expected the government, by word and deed to have the situation under control. Unfortunately this is not the case and grenades and bombs are being detonated all too frequently and our visitors and friends are being kidnapped. This is not acceptable and the government should do more to reverse the trend," Adoyo said.

The Hindu Council of Kenya chairman Swaran Varma called on parents to take interest in what their children are doing and whom they associate with to avoid tendencies of them falling prey to criminal activities. "We need Kenyans to be our brothers' and siblings' keepers. Neighbours need to know that their neighbours are well, it is only through this way that we can build strong families, communities and strong nation," Varma said.

IRCK brings together, the Kenya Episcopal Conference, National Council of Churches of Kenya, SUPKEM, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Organization of Africa Instituted Churches-Kenya Chapter and National Muslim Leaders forum. The Shia Ithnasharia Muslim Association, Seventh Day Adventist Church of Kenya and the United Christian Churches of Kenya are also members.

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