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Kenya: Christians under pressure
  • by Ashleigh Hooker
  • March 29, 2022

How can we support churches that are effectively operating in a war zone?

Ministry is difficult in the Diocese of Marsabit in northern Kenya where tribal clashes have been flaring since 2014. Last year, over 100 people were killed and 570 families were forced to flee. Kalla, a local Christian man, said every night about 18 displaced people were coming to his home to be fed. “They flee from their homes and they come to our village,” Kalla said. “They come with nothing to eat or drink and they are hungry.”

CMS missionary in Marsabit, Norm Gorrie, said Kalla earns a meagre wage but still gives what he has to others. “He truly shares out of his poverty,” said Norm. “Such a wonderful, generous brother.”

Last year, through our generous donors, Anglican Aid helped local Marsabit churches to care for the immediate needs of the hundreds of displaced people around them by providing emergency aid. A local church pastor, Pastor Halkano said: “What Anglican Aid has done has really helped and supported the needy people in the area and we really thank you.”

“What Anglican Aid has done has really helped and supported the needy people in the area and we really thank you.”
Pastor Halkano

 

But there are also spiritual battles facing the churches in Marsabit. With Christians in the minority, they experience persistent pressure from the dominant religions. Islam is growing stronger politically and economically, aggressively promoting faith amongst local people. Norm Gorrie said that Christians are also being tempted by false teachers travelling from Ethiopia who are promising blessing, prosperity and healing. “Much teaching emphasises the need for personal effort,” said Norm. “Rather than leading people to rejoice in what Christ has done, and who he has made us to be in our union with him.”

Anglican Aid is helping to strengthen the churches in Marsabit to hold onto the truth and share it with others by funding training workshops to help local gospel workers handle the scriptures correctly. “We teach the story of God’s salvation from Genesis right through to Revelation,” said Norm. “We want to partner with Anglican Aid, with CMS, to be recruiting local people to train them up in the north, for ministry in the north. I would just love your partnership with us in that.”

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