Is the government behind religious riots in Nairobi?
An estimated 10,000 Christians and Muslims fought Wednesday and Thursday in Nairobi. When the dust settled Saturday, two Christians were dead, and a mosque, Catholic church, and a clinic were burnt to the ground. Other churches, the International Christian Center, and a library, were damaged. Both Christian and Muslim leaders are blaming the government; churches are leading a government-opposed review of the Kenyan Constitution. "There have been several attempts in the past to drive a wedge between us but they will not succeed," said an official of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims. Similarly, the National Council of Churches in Kenya released a statement saying, "We suspect there could be a scheme to shift from the painful ethnic clashes of the past to equally devastating religious clashes." The Kenya Episcopal Conference of the Roman Catholic Church, meanwhile, joined the Anglican Church of Kenya and others in noting that police were slow to act. "We condemn the mute connivance of the Government arms, especially the security personnel. We can no longer stand a security system that watches people torch religious houses as they barricade those willing to put out the fire from reaching them," said the Roman Catholic group. So far, 82 youths have been arrested. See more from Nairobis The Nation (including an editorial), and The Star from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Atlanta Presbyterians: Change the state flag
The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta passed a resolution last week saying that the Georgia state flag, which incorporated the Confederate battle emblem in 1956 as a protest against integration, "has served to pull the community apart." "One of the basic stories that Christians and Jews share is the account of God's deliverance of his people from slavery," said the Rev. Kirby Lawrence Hill. "Our state flag bears the symbol of an effort to keep some of God's people enslaved." Hill is pastor of Lithonia Presbyterian Church, which sponsored the resolution. The Atlanta diocese of the Episcopal Church, the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church have also called for changing the state flag.
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