Bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya have resolved to forge a united front in advocating for a transformed and united nation in the run up to the 2012 elections.
The 2008 elections resulted in ethnic conflict that shocked the world. In October, as part of a coordinated programme intended to result in a peaceful and better governed nation, the Archbishop of Kenya, the Rt Revd Eliud Wabukala, convened a Baraza of Kenyan Bishops with the intention of preparing them to be gatekeepers of their dioceses and regions. He called on the bishops to “consider the deep and difficult issues of how the bishops can lead the nation of Kenya so that ethnicity does not become a focus of violence at the next election in 2012.”
Baraza is a Swahili word describing discernment by consensus common in many African cultures and called Indaba by the Zulu people. As Kenyan theologians have been instrumental in guiding the Anglican Communion’s Continuing Indaba project, it was not surprising that the Archbishop asked the Continuing Indaba project team to share its experiences of the process of mutual listening.
The Baraza of the Kenyan bishops enabled them to consider deep and complex issues and come to a consensus for united action. The result was a focus on a nationwide strategy for prayer. According to Wilberforce Wangalwa, Director of Education for the Anglican Church of Kenya, who was present at the Baraza, “The bishops are committed to advocacy against the ills that affect good governance and peace. A commitment was made to engage church leaders from other parts of the country wherever prayers are held. The bishops also resolved to forge a united front in advocating for a transformed and united nation.”
Hearing the results of the Baraza, Canon Phil Groves, Director of the Continuing Indaba project, has written to the Archbishop saying, “I rejoice that you are doing such a great thing. I was moved to tears and prayer by stories of the violence following the last election. It is my prayer that a Baraza/Indaba, faithful to Scripture, will lead to healing in the nation. The Anglican Church of Kenya will stand as a beacon of faithfulness. Prayer can change a nation.”
As Director of Continuing Indaba he is keen to gain insights from the Anglican Church of Kenya to pass on to other provinces about how they can use Baraza/Indaba to address issues of significance in their context.
Theological materials to aid Indaba/Baraza are available on the Anglican Communion website: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/continuingindaba/hubs/index.cfm
Notes to Editors
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