Kenyan churches pray tribute to former President
DANIEL ARAP MOI, the former President of Kenya, died on Tuesday, aged 95. The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) released a statement thanking God for his service over his lifetime. Mr Moi’s record as Kenya’s second president (he served from 1978 to 2002) was marred by evidence of autocratic rule and brutality. The NCCK said that they remember him “as a devout Christian who faithfully expressed his faith”, praising him for asking for forgiveness when he stepped down, and for facilitating a peaceful transition. The statement reads: “Kenya remained stable at a time when other neighbouring countries were embroiled in turmoil.”
Fourteen students die in crush at Kenyan school
THE NCCK has called for safety in schools to be checked after 14 students died in a in a stampede at a primary school in western Kenya on Monday. The children were killed at Kakamega Primary School, and more than 40 were injured. The NCCK said that it was a “terrible loss to the entire nation of Kenya and all humanity”. It continued: “While we appreciate the speedy evacuation of the children to hospital, we do note that this incident once more calls on all of us to give keen attention to safety in learning institutions and other public places.” In September, last year, eight pupils died and 69 were injured when a classroom collapsed at a primary school in Nairobi.
New controls on religion come into force in China
CHINESE authorities have brought in new restrictions on religion, reinforcing the view that religious organisations must be approved by the authorities to carry out religious activities, the campaigning charity CSW reported. The regulations, which came into effect at the beginning of February, require religious organisations to report to the authorities for review and approval on a wide range of subjects.
Kidnapped seminarian is killed, others released
A ROMAN Catholic seminarian has been killed after he and three other seminarians were kidnapped from the Good Shepherd Seminary, Kaduna, Nigeria, last month. Michael Nnadi was identified after his body was dumped by the side of a road. The other three were released (News, 24 January) towards the end of last month. The RC Archbishop of Benin, the Most Revd Augustine Akubeze, said that seminaries could not protect themselves from attacks by Boko Haram, Vatican News reported.
Heads of Holy Land churches call for Jerusalem to be shared
THE Patriarchs and heads of the Holy Land churches have affirmed their “devotion to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East”, and called for Jerusalem to be shared by Israel and Palestine. The church leaders released a statement after the publication of a “peace plan” by President Donald Trump (News, 31 January). In an implicit criticism of President Trump’s plan, they called for a plan that “guarantees security, peace, freedom, and dignity to all of the peoples of the region”. The US plan would see Israel control the whole of the city of Jerusalem. The statement from the Holy Land churches reinforces their “vision for the Holy City to be open and shared by the two peoples”. Also this week, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Theophilos III, spoke of his joy at the news that Naama Issachar, an Israeli-American arrested in Moscow for cannabis possession, had been released. The Greek Orthodox patriarch had spoken to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, about the case.