Interethnic conflict in Kenya:
A Biblical Response to Conflict, Prevention, and Reconciliations among Warring Communities
Kenya has a long history of inherent inter-ethnic conflicts. Some of these conflicts affect the social and economic activities among warring communities. Inter-ethnic conflicts have been accused of contributing significantly to the loss of lives, property, and increased poverty levels. The main content of this article is the result of the author’s Master of Arts in Religion thesis at Africa Nazarene University, conducted in Marsabit County in 2007 and entitled ‘The Investigation of the Causes of Conflicts between Borana and Gabra Pastoral Communities of Northern Kenya and Ways of Conflicts Prevention and Reconciliation’. The Bible has a great voice when applied to conflict prevention and reconciliation. With that in mind, the article supports biblical principles for mitigating destructive conflicts. The research methodology used for this paper was a descriptive survey. In addition, synchronic approaches to biblical texts were applied to various texts, which views the Biblical text as a complete piece of divinely inspired literature. Thus, the study adopts an approach to the text, understanding the meaning of words that precisely consider their referential quality (what the text says) and mimetic quality (what the text is all about). The research found nine causes of interethnic conflict among warring tribes: revenge; the aftermath of drought; reckless talks from political elites; disrespect to people’s property; tribalism and negative ethnicity; historical injustices; failure to respect political boundaries; government laxity; and ethnic enclaves. As a result, the article recommends the following biblical responses to prevent interethnic conflict: seek no revenge; store up in times of plenty; control the tongue; love and respect for the neighbour; created in the image of God; sharing available resources; respect for political boundaries; governing with justice and mercy; and, choosing good leaders.
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