From the Worldwide Faith News archives

AACC - Kenya Attorney General Calls for Church Help to Realise

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 16 Apr 2004 14:51:22 -0700

All Africa Conference of Churches
Information and Communication Desk
P. O. Box 14205
00800 Westlands
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 - 020 - 4441483 / 4441338/9
Fax: 254 - 020 - 4443241, 4445835


By Mitch Odero

Kenya's Attorney General Mr. Amos Wako lashed out at the world's 
socio-economic systems which allowed for economic injustice to prevail.

Speaking during a thanks giving service in appreciation of the appointment 
of Rev. Dr.Sam Kobia, as World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary, 
Mr. Wako noted that hunger continued to prevail in "a world of 
plenty".  Rev. Kobia, a Kenyan is the first African general secretary of 
the WCC in its 50 year history.  He is leading a WCC delegation on his 
first official visit since he took over office in January this year.

"Despite the world's production capacity in various fields, despite the 
world's advance in science and technology, abject poverty continues to 
exist"' he noted, calling on the churches to double their efforts in 
advocacy campaigns to end economic injustice.

Expressing his appreciation, Rev. Kobia said "you have nourished me with 
hope and granted me the space to grow and become who I am today."  He went 
on "I cannot help but remember the days when we travelled together through 
the turbulence in the high seas of politics.  It was then that I served 
among you even as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches 
in Kenya."

He recalled how seriously "we took our prophetic mandate by articulating 
the imperatives of good governance and the ethical values of participatory 
democracy in the moral formation of our citizens.  It has been a long 
journey and the promise lives on."  Rev. Kobia got into trouble with the 
last political regime in Kenya and received several threats on his life.

He called on the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and WCC to help 
Africa realise the African renaissance. Africa, he went on, needed a 
transformation, but that transformation should start with an 
individual.  "It is in that way that we can effectively address the problem 
of street children, rising number of beggars whom we all know were also 
created in the image of God', he added.

He stressed that "our struggles as a church   always led us to affirm the 
dignity and humanity of our people.  And when I see young people, noting 
that the real enemy "is to be found within the weak dark corners of the 
soul where the horrors of hatred have reclaimed the pure desire to Love and 
to be Loved."

Referring to the service he underlined, "This day is truly a humbling 
moment for me because I know that I am not alone. Let us continue to 
provide that space in which the churches speak with one voice and affirm 
the good things that are happening and caution on things that need remedy. 
There are times to raise ones voice on the roof tops but there are also 
times to speak with a gentle voice. As one great poet once said   the 
greatest thing ever said is that which is spoken without words.  I have no 
more words but a silent embrace of the love that fills this sanctuary 
today. In the echo of the silent footsteps of a faithful pilgrim on a 
journey through   the valley of pain and despair, we must continue together 
with the great song that in every situation "To God Be the Glory".

He went on, "This is my prayer with you, that in the absence of all fear 
may  freedom, justice , peace , and harmony  remain lit in the streets	and 
every household of Africa . We at the WCC will continue to accompany the 
churches in Kenya as we enter the new frontiers of evangelism in the 21st 
century.  And for the sake of Kenya and Africa, let us always remember that 
if you want to go fast, walk alone but if you want to go far, walk with 

A member of the WCC delegation Teny Pirri-Simonian, WCC Executive Secretary 
for Church and Ecumenical Relations then read a message from the WCC 
Moderator His Holiness Aram I.	The Moderator noted that serving the 
ecumenical movement is a calling, integral to the Christian vocation "I am 
confident that with his (Rev. Kobia) profound sense of calling, Sam Kobia 
will give the best of his talents and gifts to the ecumenical movement.  As 
you know, he is the first African General Secretary of the 
Council.  Therefore, he will certainly bring Africa to the ecumenical and 
take the ecumenical movement to Africa with renewed vision and commitment".

He went on, "I know the deep concerns, complex problems and great 
challenges that Africa is facing.  The WCC has always been with Africa: 
against apartheid; racism; injustice and poverty; and supportive of 
development, nation building, democratisation and programmes to combat 
HIV/AIDS.  An important expression of the Council's commitment to Africa 
came in 1998 after the Harare Assembly in the form of a new programme: 
"focus on Africa".  As the Moderator of the Central Committee of the WCC, I 
want to assure you that the Council will stand with you".

Among the delegation's task was the blessing of Africa ceremony conducted 
by Rev. Kobia at the chapel of the AACC.

The delegation left Nairobi this morning (April 16) for Kigali, Rwanda.

For further information, contact:

Mitch Odero
All Africa Conference of Churches
Information and Communication Desk
P. O. Box 14205
00800 Westlands
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 - 020 - 4441483 / 4441338/9
Fax: 254 - 020 - 4443241, 4445835

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