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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Churches take sides on Kenya's constitution

Less than a year since the country’s December 2007 election violence, many Kenyan church leaders have warned their government about its plan to select only a few experts to write a new constitution for the country.

“We find the selection of only a few individuals to write the laws as ridiculous. After all, this is the supreme law for all Kenyans,” said Anglican Bishop Gideon Ireri of Mbeere, chair of the multifaith Ufungamano Forum for Religious Organizations.

Peter Karanja, general secretary, National Council of Churches of Kenya, agreed, warning that politicians left to their own devices would come up with a constitution favoring their own interests.

Yet John Halakhe, general secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya, said he supported the government plan, adding that a more participatory process would be too expensive.

Since 1991 Kenyans have not been able to agree on a new constitution because of disagreements over land distribution, the devolution of power, resource distribution and Christians’ fear of the entrenchment of Islamic courts, also known as Kadhi’s courts, that follow sectarian law.


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