Living letters solidarity visit to Kenya, 30 January to 3 February 2008

Churches working for peace amidst a wave of post electoral violence in Kenya received a pastoral and solidarity visit of an international ecumenical delegation sent by the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 30 January to 3 February.

Churches in Kenya are struggling to work for peace and reconciliation amidst a wave of post electoral violence along ethnic lines which has killed more than 700 people and obliged some 250,000 people to flee their homes since the beginning of the year.

The visit aimed to express the solidarity of churches worldwide with the Kenyan churches at a particularly challenging time. The visiting team also learned how  the international fellowship of churches can best support Kenyan churches' efforts towards peace and reconciliation. The visit was hosted by the National Council of Churches in Kenya.


Report of the Living Letters to Kenya

Download the report of the WCC Living Letters Team Visit to Kenya (pdf), 13 January 2010


About the visit

We went with slight trepidation regarding what we might witness, but secure in the knowledge that we would be with brothers and sisters in Christ who were in need of prayer, peace, reconciliation and the embrace of...


Reflections by Rev. Dr Clifton Kirkpatrick

"What left me with hope is that the churches, who themselves have at times been compromised, are now committed to being a force for peace and reconciliation, and they have invited all of us to join them in praying and...


Reflections by Graham Gerald McGeoch

"Dear churches in Kenya, thank you for openly sharing with us your vulnerabilities. Thank you for the humility to recognise that the people of God have, in some instances, acted in a partisan manner. In some places the...


Reflections by Ms Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda

"The high level of inequalities in income and employment was at the centre of the mobilization and campaign messages. It is also evident that the violence in Kenya had a number of specific characteristics..."


Reflections by Prelate Dr Stephan Reimers

"We saw the burnt down houses, shops and schools and talked to the Kikuyus, who had not fled. At night some 600 women, men and children camped in a big schoolroom - guarded by the warriors of their tribe."


Reflections by Rev. Dr. Stig Utnem

"In situations where tribe and ethnicity and language matter more and more, the role of the churches and religious communities become paramount. Churches and ecumenical partners like my own must once again critically...


Reflections by Dr Geeske Zanen

"I am inspired by the prayers we held with all the different people, from the political leaders to the grass roots we have met. The solidarity within these prayers was well understood."


Reflections by Bishop Laiser

"It is my highest hope that the peace making effort led by the former United Nation Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan will be successful in bringing together the two warring parties ODM and PNU in a way that will not...


Reflections by Dr Aruna Gnanadason

Porto Alegre  Brazil

"The Living Letters visit was warmly welcomed as sign of global solidarity with the churches in Kenya. From them we have learnt what it means to come together for peace in a time when there is so much of division and...


Living Letters visit to Kenya in the media

Below is a small selection of articles found in the media, they do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the World Council of Churches.

The team said the situation needed more than talking and prayers for the country, but prayers, especially for those in camps more than ever before, needed to be offered continuously. To signify the need for peace in the country, the team handed over a candle of peace to the Vice President a sign of peace to the country.


Religion & Ethics has published a feature story on Kenya, accompanied by a short video from the World Council of Churches' Living Letters solidarity visit to Kenya.


Die christlichen Kirchen in Kenia bemühen sich nach Angaben des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen (ÖRK) in Genf "mit aller Kraft ihren Teil dazu beizutragen, dass das Land nicht in einen Genozid abgleitet". Sie strebten eine langfristige Heilung an und seien dabei auf die fortdauernde Unterstützung internationaler ökumenischer Partner angewiesen


As mediation to solve the disputed Kenyan presidential election enters a critical phase, top-level figures from the two parties have met an international ecumenical delegation, which asked them to move on from the electoral dispute and seek a compromise solution.


Nairobi (ENI). Some Christian leaders in Kenya have commented on what they say is the inability of the country's churches to speak with one voice about the violence that has followed disputed presidential election results, and which has led to the deaths of around 1000 people. "I want to express my concern; we don't seem to be speaking in one voice at this critical time," Anglican Bishop Gideon Ireri of Mbeere in eastern Kenya told Ecumenical News International on 5 February.


As mediation to solve the disputed Kenyan presidential election enters a critical phase, top-level figures from the two parties have met an international Christian delegation, which asked them to move on from the electoral dispute and seek a compromise solution.

3. February 08

Les Eglises et le Kenya

Dimanche, 3 février, de 20h00 à 21h00: Claire Lesegretain, chef adjointe du Service Religion au journal La Croix nous brosse un tableau de la situation à Nairobi et des attitudes adoptées par les Eglises autour de ces tensions. Elle a pu participer à la délégation du Conseil Oecuménique des Eglises au Kenya du 30 janvier au 3 février 2008.


Une délégation du Conseil oecuménique des Églises est arrivée mercredi 30 janvier au soir à Nairobi pour trois jours de dialogue, d'écoute et de prière.

1. February 08

Kenyans plead for peace

WORSENING VIOLENCE in Kenya has brought fresh pleas for peaceful political dialogue from church leaders.


GENF/ROM, 29. Januar 2008 ( Eine internationale Delegation des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen (ÖRK) wird vom 30. Januar bis 3. Februar nach Kenia reisen, um den Kirchen, die sich inmitten der eskalierenden Gewalt in ihrem Land aktiv für Frieden einsetzen, ihre Solidarität zu bekunden und sie seelsorgerlich zu unterstützen.


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