Kenyan church calls for prayers after riots in Nairobi

 A Catholic Archbishop has appealed to Kenyans to pray hard for their country, following the chaos, violence and looting that erupted in the city of Nairobi on Saturday after police moved in to prevent a political rally from taking place. The license of the rally, called by the lobby group Katiba Watch, was withdrawn the evening before, with Kenya's Police Commissioner Brigadier Mohammed Ali citing infiltration by elements out to cause chaos. The lobby organized the rally after a June 30 deadline passed without the government delivering a new constitution as earlier promised. Various streets in Nairobi were rendered impassable as anti-riot police tried to stop rioters and looters. Kenyans have also been angered by President Mwai Kibaki's recent cabinet appointments, in which he picked ministers from a party that was overwhelmingly rejected at the December 2002 general elections. Meanwhile, Catholic Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana 'a Nzeki of Nairobi has called for special prayers on Sunday, July 11, 2004, "for our country -solutions to the constitution debate and other related problems". "My brothers and sisters, united in prayer, I humbly present to your goodwill and love for our motherland Kenya a request for special prayers," Archbishop Ndngi said in a letter to all parishes and chaplaincies dated July 5, 2004. ""We have all witnessed what the constitution review stalemate and other related problems have done to the present state of affairs in our country, and indeed their negative impact on the lives of the wananchi [citizens]." "Whereas all other efforts continue to be pursued from all angles in a view to achieve a brake through, as Christians I encourage you to do everything possible to ensure that we constantly offer prayers, fast and encourage one another so that we can achieve peace, a change of attitude in our country and hence realize progress and growth in all sectors of life. We must never despair in this noble endeavour," the Archbishop said. Source: CISA

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