Catholic parishes across Kenya yesterday gathered for special prayers for peace and reconciliation, after the country was plunged into violence following the disupted elections. More than 500 people have been killed and at least 200,000 have lost their homes. The national prayers were called for by Kenya's bishops. In Nairobi's Holy Family Minor Basilica, Father in Charge, Bernard Miringu yesterday urged the political leaders to make every effort to reach each other through dialogue, stressing that "this was vital for country's human development". And h urged Christians at all levels to join in the peacemaking process, stressing that it was wrong to leave the entire business of peacemaking to the political leadership. He reminded the congregation that peace was central in the pastoral and Bible teaching of the Church. "Christians should be the last ones to work against peace, for God has entrusted them with peace-making in the society", he stressed. Fr Bernard also thanked parishioners for their generous contributions of food, clothing, medicines and other materials to help the victims of violence who have lost so much. "The response in prayers and material contributions has been very positive and we urge you to continue to undertake this mission", added Father Miringu. Father Bernard was joined in the Mass by Deacon Anselme Tarpaga from Burkina Faso and who is a member of the Missionaries of Africa currently studying theology at Tangaza College, in Nairobi
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