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Church leaders now visit city mosque for prayers

Friday September 18 2015

Pastor Paul Chepkwony of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (second left) speaks during Muslim prayers at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi on September 18, 2015. The visit to the mosque was part of efforts by Inter-Religious Council of Kenya to promote harmony and tolerance among Christians and Muslims in the country. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Pastor Paul Chepkwony of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (second left) speaks during Muslim prayers at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi on September 18, 2015. The visit to the mosque was part of efforts by Inter-Religious Council of Kenya to promote harmony and tolerance among Christians and Muslims in the country. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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Church leaders on Friday joined Muslims during Friday prayers at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi, in a gesture aimed at bolstering the relationship between the two faiths.

Leaders from various Christian denominations sat through the prayers and then addressed the press in the company of their hosts in the afternoon.

The religious leaders under the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, said they had agreed to visit each other’s places of worship to show solidarity in fighting intolerance among members of their faiths.

At the packed mosque, the Christians sat not far from the platform where Sheikh Abdullatif Essajee gave a short teaching before the prayers.

“Our brothers and sisters are here as a gesture of the cooperation and understanding that should exist between us. Where there is understanding, there is tolerance,” said Sheikh Essajee.

Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow said it was good for people to live together despite professing different faiths.

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He said the suspicions between Muslims and Christians had gone up following terrorist attacks in the country but added that such coming together would help wipe out such mistrust.

Mr Kerrow is a member of Jamia Mosque Executive.

The church leaders said they expected their Muslim counterparts to reciprocate soon by visiting their churches.

The Executive Director of Global Peace Foundation, Kenya, Daniel Omondi, said: “Today we are sending a strong message that we are one humanity under one God. We are saying No to religious intolerance.

“We want all pastors and sheikhs to work together in order to rid this country of radicalism.”

They challenged believers in different faiths to love one other as ordered by God.

“We are here to express our love for God together. We worship one God and He tells us to love one another,” said Reverend John Alusiola of the Calvary Covenant Centre.