Kenya: Project Rallies Clerics to Preach Tolerance Ahead of 2022 Polls

24 November 2021

A campaign rallying religious leaders to champion tolerance and counter extremist views so as to foster a peaceful General Election has been launched.

Search for Common Ground (SFCG), an international non-governmental organisation that works to end violent conflict and promote just societies, is leading the initiative.

The organisation targets 13 counties - Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Garissa, Isiolo, Kakamega, Migori, Nakuru, Nairobi, Nyeri, Tana River and Taita Taveta.

It is working with clerics to counter radical and extremist tendencies in their communities.

Campaigners hope to expand the civic space by fostering religious harmony among communities, helping them overcome mutual grievances and pushing for a review of policies at the national level that undermine public participation.

SFCG's project - Joint Initiative for Strategic Religious Action (Jisra-Kenya) - brings together clerics to address challenges to religious freedom and belief.

Peaceful and just societies

The group's ultimate goal is to have peaceful and just societies where all enjoy freedom of religion and belief.

The initiative comes as politicians scramble for time in pulpits in churches and mosques to persuade believers to vote for them or their political parties.

The objectives include building inclusive, open and constructive religious communities, developing peaceful interactions between them and implementing context and religion-sensitive freedom of religion or belief policies and security practices.

The activities, however, are focused on capacity strengthening of the implementing partners, lobby and advocacy training, monitoring, evaluation and learning, conflict sensitivity, prevention of sexual harassment through youth engagement mapping and meaningful youth and women's participation in decision-making process.

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