The leaders of all of the Kenyan Quaker yearly meetings met for a retreat in Nakuru to discern about the future of the Quaker movement in our region. During their meeting, they felt strongly led by the Holy Spirit to speak to their political leaders with a Scriptural word of warning about the threat to national unity and peace contained in their rhetoric in the lead-up to the 17 October presidential election. Here is their statement:
TO: HIS EXCELLECNCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, HON. UHURU KENYATTA AND HON. RAILA ODINGA
September 14th 2017
We the leaders of Friends Church (Quakers) in Kenya, having attended a retreat on 12th September to 15th September 2017 at St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre in Nakuru, Kenya looking at the theme “Rewiring the Church for the 21st Century”, wish to express our grave concern about the rapidly deteriorating and poisoned political climate created by the two of you.
This is a major threat to Peace and National Unity.
It is increasingly becoming evident that power must be procured at any cost without regard to the lives of Kenyans and other people in the country.
Your political grandstanding, war mongering and hostile rhetoric, all in defiance of the Constitution, is not only highly dangerous to the peace of our sovereign nation but also undermines our national unity. As the Friends Church in Kenya we view this as extremely reckless and irresponsible from our leaders.
We refer to Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God”, which is in line with the Quaker peace testimony: “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.”
We also remind you that in Proverbs 21:7 we learn that violence harbored in one’s heart is infectious. Violence is first a thought, then a spoken word which becomes an action and finally bloodshed. As a church that loves and promotes peace we feel called and instructed by the Lord to ask and plead with you to exercise restraint and reverse your approach. This is with the realization that as mortal men you are fallible. Please be reminded that only God exalts a man.
As Quakers we feel the dangerous effect of the reckless utterances and our prayer is that God will intervene and touch and cause you to desist from the trend which may lead to imminent bloodshed. We believe that only God has the final say in appointing leaders.
We strongly advise that the independence of constitutional bodies like the Judiciary and the IEBC should be left free to execute their duties without interference.
And to you our fellow Citizens, this is a hard time for us, let us not be carried away by the emotions of the moment, we appeal to you to exercise restraint, sobriety and promote peace.
The best Kenya is a peaceful country.
God bless our country.
Friends Church in Kenya
Friends United Meeting
Friends World Committee for Consultation Africa Section
They invite all Kenyan Friends to join us in this prophetic message by adding their names to this statement.