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Kenyan religious leaders unite for peace

Religious leaders in Kenya are working together to try to find a solution to the crisis which has engulfed the country since December's general election.

Christian, Muslim and Hindu groups have united to provide mediation, relief, spiritual support and information to the Kenyan people who in the last month have endued the worst violence and civil strife in a generation. 

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Members of the Inter-Religious Forum (IRF) have set up four working teams including a humanitarian and relief team which is working with other relief agencies such as the to provide food, shelter, clothing and for other needs to the tens of thousands of displaced persons in various parts of the country.

Prayer movement

There is also a media team which is distributing messages of reconciliation, justice and peace and a prayer team which is coordinating a prayer movement across the country.

The political mediation team has held discussions with both President Mwai Kibaki and the leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga and their advisers.

The IRF is working closely with the African Union mediation team led by the former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, and is ready to arbitrate in deadlocks in the negotiations.

Solidarity

Fred Nyabere of FECCLAHA – an umbrella organisation of churches in the region which is playing a key role in the mediation effort – says the religious leaders will also make solidarity visits to the most affected regions.

'These solidarity visits will give us a better understanding of the situation on the ground and contribute towards healing of the affected areas. We will highlight the most urgent needs following the post-election violence and make the necessary appeals for humanitarian assistance.'

The Inter-Religious Forum is composed of the Anglican Church in Kenya, National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Methodist Church in Kenya, the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the Hindu Council of Kenya, the Organization of Africa and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.  

Christian Aid is a member of Action by Churches Together (ACT) – Kenya Forum; the Anglican Church in Kenya and National Council of Churches of Kenya are Christian Aid partners. Christian Aid also supports Northern Aid, a key member of the Moslem Supreme Council in Kenya.