The United Church of Canada amplifies Kenyan partners’ appeal to end police brutality against protesters: “Listen to the People of Kenya.”

A man wearing a clerical collar holds up a sign that says "The sovereign power belongs with the people."
A young pastor
Credit: NCCK
Published On: July 8, 2024

The United Church of Canada joins the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), a Mission and Service partner, in mourning the deaths of demonstrators killed in protests against tax hikes and the now-withdrawn Finance Bill 2024.

The Executive Committee of the NCCK issued a statement entitled Let Us Redefine Our Nation, following the Council’s meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto on June 26, urging the government to listen to the youth, “creating platforms for them to shape the nation they desire to live in.” NCCK called for seven days of mourning for those killed in the protests. “We in the National Council of Churches of Kenya are mourning with deep sadness the deaths of dozens of Kenyans who have been killed by police during demonstrations,” said the Rev. Canon Chris Kinyanjui, NCCK’s General Secretary.

NCCK and human rights groups condemned the brutal response of police and the military to country-wide anti-tax protests led largely by Kenyans self-identifying as “Gen Z.” Expressing condolences to bereaved families of those killed and prayers for the wounded, NCCK stated, “The killing of dozens of peacefully picketing Kenyans by the police is totally unacceptable. It must never be repeated.”

The United Church of Canada echoes the appeal from the Rev. Prof. Dr. Jerry Pillay, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches: “We urge dialogue and public debate to address the issues which have provoked nationwide protests in recent days, and appeal for respect for democratic processes, human rights, and the rule of law by all concerned.”

Prayer for the people of Kenya

God of life, 
      hear our prayer for the people of Kenya.
For young Kenyans frustrated, hungry and worried about their future, 
      Guide them, that they may find creative and life-giving opportunities to lead by example.
For political leaders, 
      Inspire them, that they may they always listen attentively to the will of the people.
And for religious leaders and people of faith,
      Transform us, that we may be your agents of hope, health and healing to those seeking abundant life. 

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