Menu
Global

Interfaith meeting in Kenya: ‘This is a landmark moment’

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is invited into interreligious council

In a landmark meeting this month, leaders from the religious community in Kenya were hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the city of Nairobi.

The Church is reaching out across the region to work with inter-religious groups on shared priorities and common challenges.

Elder Thierry K. Mutombo and Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority Seventies and counselors in the Africa Central Area presidency, welcomed religious leaders from Muslim, Hindu and Christian faiths to a business lunch and open house in the Upper Hill Ward meetinghouse on May 9.

The event was held in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom

Elder Thierry K. Mutombo explains to members of the Inter-religious Council of Kenya about the Church
Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, first counselor in the Africa Central Area presidency, explains to members of the Inter-religious Council of Kenya about the Church, in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 9, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Ardern said enjoying a meal together is a good way to overcome barriers and to build bridges.

“We wish to get to know you, and that will never happen from reading about you,” Elder Ardern said at the meeting. “Any church is best defined by its members, and therefore it was important to us to gather and learn of and about each other. What unites us is far greater than what our theological differences are.”

The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya unanimously agreed to include the Church in any way possible going forward. 

“This is an amazing thing,” said Bishop John Warari of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya. “This is a landmark moment in the history of interfaith in Kenya.”

Elder Thierry K. Mutombo and Sister Nathalie Tshayi Mutombo, left, with members of the Inter-religious Council of Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 9, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The council chairman, the Rev. Joseph Mutie, welcomed the Church to the council’s family, saying: “Thank you for your gesture of kindness and love in hosting us here today. My prayer is that we will work together as a family and see what God has called us to do together.”

Elder Ardern gave a presentation showing the Church’s humanitarian efforts, work in religious freedom and extensive collaboration with other religions.

Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum, or NAMLEF, of Kenya, said: “Elder Ardern spoke from his heart with passion. He is a Christian; I am a Muslim. He could have been speaking in a mosque; he was just not quoting the Quran. We are in complete harmony. All of us as a people of God must work together to serve humanity and to serve God. As NAMLEF, we are ready to work with you. I will be the first to support you.”

Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi with the National Muslim Leaders Forum, left; Elder Ian S. Ardern, second counselor in the Africa Central Area presidency, center; and Salim Vayani from the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, right, at the Upper Hill Ward meetinghouse in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 9, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Related Story
Church donates $1 million to help drought-stricken Kenya
‘A tremendous opportunity and blessing’ — leaders and missionaries in Africa receive training from an Apostle
President Johnson and President Cordon see joy among African people
Church donates hundreds of desks, Bibles and Qurans to school in Kenya
Newsletters
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed

Marcos Efrén Zariñana’s ability to crawl into places that others couldn’t reach earned him the nickname la Pulga, “the Flea.” His story is of being in the right place at the right time, Lloyd Newell observes in this week’s “Music & the Spoken Word” with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

Learn about recent donations from the Church to hospitals and health care organizations in Cambodia, Guam, Mongolia and the Philippines.

At the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra’s first concert of its Philippine tour, Elder Neil L. Andersen noted talents and dedication of audience and performers.

See how YSAs have gathered around the world from Cambodia to Africa.

Speaking to more than 100 gathered in the Church History Museum auditorium, Elder Kyle S. McKay, a General Authority Seventy, explored several key historic events of Church history to show a pattern of continued revelation in the restoration of the gospel.

Elder Andersen teaches elementary school students about family, President Lund tells ‘outcast’ young men that the Lord has blessings for them, Sister Wright posts about ‘seeing’ others.