News Release

Historic Moment as Interfaith Leaders in Kenya Welcome the Church

‘This is a landmark moment in the history of interfaith in Kenya,’ says Bishop John Warari

Leaders from the religious community in Kenya were hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nairobi on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Elder Thierry K. Mutombo and Elder Ian S. Ardern, members of the Area Presidency, welcomed religious leaders from Muslim, Hindu, and Christian faiths to a business lunch and open house.

The event was held in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) in a stake centre in Nairobi, the nation’s capital city. The IRCK is considering long-term collaboration with the Church, and representatives wanted to meet with Church leaders and members.

Elder Ardern, Second Counselor in the Africa Central Area Presidency, speaking on behalf of the Church, said, “I know that enjoying a meal together is a good way to overcome barriers and to build bridges, something we all want to do.” He continued, “We wish to get to know you, and that will never happen from reading about you. 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.”

Speaking on behalf of the IRCK, Rev. Joseph Mutie, council chairman, said, “We have a new friend; welcome to the IRCK family. 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.”

The chairman asked the other members of the IRCK for their views on supporting the collaboration and close association with the Church. It was 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.”

Following the presentation by Elder Ardern showing the Church’s extensive collaboration with other religions, humanitarian work, and work in religious freedom, Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum (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.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reaching out across the region to work with inter-religious groups on shared priorities and common challenges. The Church is seeking to strengthen its partnership with the IRCK in Kenya. In the wake of the recent celebration of Easter and Eid al-Fitr, it was a good time to gather, celebrate, meet, and extend interfaith harmony and look at future possibilities.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.