|Kenyan Pentecostals launch a uniting organization|
|Written by Fredrick Nzwili|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2012 22:06|
Nairobi, Kenya, 23May (ENInews)-- Pentecostal churches in Kenya, which have proliferated quickly in recent years, announced on May 23 in Nairobi the launch of a uniting organization called the Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Church and Ministries.
"We no longer want to be a church that just looks on, as our nation is crying and all we can offer is prayers," Bishop Stanley Michuki, chairperson of the organization's board of trustees, said at the launch announcement. "We want to be there to cry with the people, pray with them, but also provide assistance to them." The group said it will be involved in development work, relief and humanitarian aid.
At the launch, the leaders promised to work in these areas with national bodies such the Protestant National Council of Churches (NCCK), the Roman Catholic Kenya Episcopal Conference and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya. They noted the church had become a key "actor" in national affairs, adding that "a government that knows its future could not dare ignore it."
"We ... must ensure our house is in order and that it is empowered enough to engage and advocate for its issues. We must ensure the church is empowered to an extent that it is not manipulated," said Michuki.
Pentecostal churches in Kenya have been disunited and disjointed, often characterized by frequent fights over leadership, property and followers, according to speakers at the launch. The groups have paid heavy prices for the "worthless" struggles, they added.
"We must restore the church to its beauty. Pentecostalism in this country is in a mess and the time has come for us to restore it. Once we have done that we will influence many (people)," said the Rev. Geoffery Njuguna of the Deliverance Church.
He later told ENInews in an interview that unless the Kenyan church united it would lose too much, since Christianity was facing an onslaught from imported trends. According to Njuguna, these include an ongoing debate on homosexuality, legalization of abortion and same-sex marriage.
"As soon as we are done in Kenya, we shall start a process to unite Pentecostals in East Africa," he said.
In its list of mandates, the groups includes government registration of churches to facilitate unity; training and mentoring pastors; advocating and defending the rights and privileges of the church on matters of freedom of worship, taxation and preaching of the Gospel.