Church buildings, similar to another spiritual establishments, play an important position within the development and growth of any nation. They’re the yardstick of morality. Additionally they have a job to play in governance by shaping and giving views on the fitting practices that ought to be superior in our society. They’ll, nevertheless, be misused by way of politics to carry divisions amongst residents.
In Northern Eire, for instance, there was a tragic conflict generally known as ‘The Troubles’ that lasted for 3 a long time (1968 to 1998). It was between Christians of Catholic and the Protestant denominations. It left greater than 3,500 folks lifeless and the nation divided. Politics in that nation performed a serious position in that conflict.
Throughout the Rwandan genocide, it’s believed that church buildings contributed in a serious method to the occasions that left greater than 800,000 folks lifeless.
In truth, in 2017, Pope Francis met President Paul Kagame and formally requested for forgiveness for the Catholic Church’s position within the 1994 bloodbath, stating that, in Rwanda, the “sins and failings of the Church and its members had in the end disfigured the face of Catholicism.’’
Central African Republic is one other case examine. In 2012, Seleka, an armed organisation representing Muslims from the North-eastern a part of the nation, launched an assault on the federal government of the then President Francois Bozize.
They seized energy and their chief Michel Djotodia grew to become the president. Quickly after, anti-balaka, one other armed group consisting of primarily Christians began their struggle towards the Seleka. The aftermath was demise of many voters and properties. Up to now, that nation has been unable to utterly cease these fights.
Throughout the 2007/08 post-election violence right here in Kenya, dozens of harmless folks, primarily youngsters and ladies, had been burnt alive inside a church in Kiambaa, Uasin Gishu County.
These examples clearly proof past doubt that if politicians are given a possibility to advance their private agenda inside locations of worship, the worst can occur.
As we head in the direction of the 2022 Common Election, we now have began to expertise fights in church buildings, the latest instance being in Kieni Constituency, the place members of a selected political grouping had taken their campaigns.
In 2019, one more situation was witnessed when Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and Nominated MP Maina Kamanda nearly exchanged blows throughout a church harambee in Murang’a County.
Such politics within the church pulpit should be stopped earlier than they escalate forward of subsequent 12 months’s elections. I beseech spiritual leaders to chorus from supporting particular politicians who normally go to these locations of worship each Sunday to do politics within the guise of supporting the church buildings’ growth programmes.
Any monetary contributions by these politicians shouldn’t be equated as a licence for them to assault their opponents within the pulpit. It’s disrespectful and unacceptable.
Church leaders ought to at all times converse towards dangerous management. They need to be vocal towards corruption, human proper abuses and promote democracy and the rule of legislation. They need to by no means permit politicians to misuse the pulpit to advance their egocentric political pursuits. Historical past ought to be our trainer.
That is the time to hope for our nation and never a time to divide our folks. I ask our flesh pressers to desist from making church buildings appear like scenes of anarchy. Church buildings are and can at all times stay to be holy premises the place we go to worship collectively and get religious nourishment.
Kenyans must also pray to God to grant them knowledge to elect leaders who imply effectively for our nation and never energy hungry people who run to locations of worship church to drive their private agenda.
Mr Gikima is a Yali RLC East Africa Fellow, Cohort 40. @GikimaAlex