Efficacy of the Presbyterian Church East Africa’s Peace Building Strategies in Enhancing Inter-Ethnic Harmony in Kenya

Rev. Julius Guantai Mwamba, Dickson Nkonge Kagema, Benjamin Mugambi Kanga


Ethnic conflicts remain the biggest setback to the development of many African nations today, Kenya included. Different religions and religious organizations have responded in different ways in their effort to address this menace. For instance the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) has initiated several peace building strategies aimed at enhancing inter-ethnic harmony in Kenya. Despite the Church’s effort in the promotion of harmony in Kenya, inter-ethnic conflicts continue to escalate in various parts of the country, notably Nairobi, Mombasa, Rift Valley and other parts of the country. This study analysed the efficacy of the PCEA peace building strategies in enhancing inter-ethnic harmony in Kenya. The study population was 1,624,345 PCEA members in following presbyteries namely Nakuru west, Nakuru east, Njoro, Elburgon, Laikipia, Eldoret and Mombasa where inter-ethnic conflicts are perceived to be dominant. From this population, a sample size of 384 respondents was obtained using Kathuri and Pals table of 1993.  Simple random sampling was used to select the 384 respondents.  The study used the descriptive survey research design and the instruments for data collection were questionnaires for the church elders and members, structured interview guide for church ministers and Focus Group Discussions (FGD’s) for the victims. The main findings were  that the use of sermons; pastoral care and counselling; Bible study; peace building workshops; prayer movements; mainstreaming of Church standing groups; policy development by the PCEA’s General Assembly, lobbying and having a Peace desk  which the PCEA has been employing as strategies to foster fostering inter-ethnic harmony in Kenya have not been  effective. It is important that ways and means are explored to make the Strategies and Programmes employed by religions, religious organizations, Para-religious organizations, the government and other stakeholders in enhancing inter-ethnic harmony in Kenya and other parts of Africa effective.

Key terms: Kenya, Religious Organizations, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Peace Building Strategies, Inter-ethnic Harmony

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-16-06

Publication date: August 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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