News / Africa

Mombasa Religious Leaders Urge Peace in Kenya Vote

Campaign posters are seen on exterior walls of the office of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in Mombasa February 21, 2013 (J. Craig/VOA).
Campaign posters are seen on exterior walls of the office of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in Mombasa February 21, 2013 (J. Craig/VOA).
Jill Craig
As Kenya gears up for its general elections, religious leaders in Mombasa have been using their positions in churches and mosques to encourage their followers to remain calm no matter the results of the polling.
 
Kenya was crippled by post-election violence in 2007 and 2008, and people from all walks of life are doing their part to ensure it does not happen again. In Mombasa, a town where religion plays a big role, imams and pastors alike are urging their followers to promote peace.  
 
As the leader of two mosques in Mombasa, Imam Abdallah Mohammed Kombo wants his followers to remember that life will continue after the elections are over.
 
“What happened in 2007 and 2008, we are aware of the disadvantages and problems this incurred. And so the message we are telling our members is to preach peace wherever they go, bearing in mind that this election will just come and pass. We will remain here, as neighbors and friends, as we have been doing before. So there’s no need of people fighting or quarrelling or creating tribalism. We are telling people to maintain peace wherever they are, during and after this election.”
 
Pastor Ronald Makokha agrees. In his role at the Mombasa Pentecostal Church, Makokha says that he has been spreading this message to his congregation for months.
 
“Like on Sunday, here in church, we were challenging our people that they need to be ready as we go to the next election. Vote for whom you love, but you also need to be ready that you can vote for somebody that you love and they may not make it. So you don’t have to go and kill somebody else. You need to be ready. Vote, yes, but be ready to accept the results, and be peaceful…and that is the message that we are doing every Sunday here.”
 
In addition, Makokha says that he has mobilized other pastors in the community to do the same. 

“And also at our church, we normally host the pastors’ fellowship, with many different pastors coming here every Thursday. And one of things that we have done, we have been encouraging the pastors to speak peace and to encourage peace, and we are also doing prayer through the churches for peace.”
 
Halima Mohamed works as a program coordinator for the Coast Education Center. She says that the imams are using holy scripture to teach people that violence is not the answer.
 
“They are actually using the holy Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet to explain it more to the Muslim community, to understand the importance of peace, to understand what it is that we’re here for as ummah, say, the people, and the importance for us to maintain peace in our community; to ensure that we live as brothers and sisters and be each other’s keeper.”
 
And according to taxi driver Lwangu Washington, people in Mombasa are taking heed.
 
“People in Mombasa, yes, they do listen to their religious leaders because every single person [belongs] to his own community. People go to the Muslim communities every Friday - people go to the mosques. Every Sunday, people go to the churches, and they do have to listen to what the religious leaders have to say.”
 
Kenya’s general elections will be held on March 4.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid