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Kenya Muslims Invite Christians to Friday Prayer

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Nairobi: Setting an example of interfaith harmony, Kenya Muslim leaders hosted their Christian counterparts during Friday prayer on September 18, in Nairobi’s Jamia mosque for the first time in the country history. “No human is entitled to dehumanize another human being just because he or she follows a different religion,” Sheikh Abdullatif Essajee, a member of Jamia mosque management, said during Friday sermon, Standard Digital reported. “Let us work together in harmony despite our religious differences.” The leaders, drawn from various Christian denominations in the country, joined thousands of Muslims in the mosque to listen to the Friday sermon and observe the prayers. The event was organized a few days ahead of the International Day of Peace by the United Nations to promote peace among communities amid threats of divisions and violence. Paying the visit back, Muslim leaders are expected to visit various churches and other religious institutions in the coming days to reciprocate the mosque visit.
Speaking to Muslims after the prayers Daniel Juma, a Catholic religious leader and CEO of Global Peace Foundation, said the move by Christian leaders to visit the mosque was a gesture of goodwill to boost cooperation among Kenyans of different faiths. “We are moving away from merely tolerating each other as Kenyans of different faiths and instead actively cooperating with each other to make our communities better. Building understanding and trust is the necessary first step,” he said. Interreligious Council of Kenya’s Paul Chepkwony, who is from Seventh Day Adventist Church, urged Kenyans to live and work together peacefully, regardless of their religious differences, saying religion should not be a dividing factor.