Religious Approaches to Peace Bulding and Reconciliation in Areas affected by Ethnic Conflicts within Kuresoi North-Nakuru County, Kenya (1992-2008)
Chepkorir, Betty C.
MetadataShow full item record
In Kenya, the issue of ethnic related conflicts seems to be very prominent. Its effects have been felt both at local and national levels. Religion represented by religious individuals and organizations is often at the heart of rural communities involving many people. Guided by the biblical principles of peace, love and justice, religion has an important role to play in peace building and reconciliation. Religion has the theology and language of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. In areas affected by ethnic conf1icts globally, religion has helped ease tensions and heals wounds brought therein. Despite the role of religion in peace building and reconciliation however, ethnic conflicts continue to escalate from time to time. The main objectives of this study therefore is to evaluate various approaches used by the religious peace makers and organizations and factors which hinder their effectiveness in peace building and reconciliation in Kuresoi North –Nakuru County. The study was conducted among various religious leaders, individuals and groups represented by churches. The research was guided by a combination of Holton model, Montville and Burton theories. It is hoped that the study will be helpful to the Department of Philosophy and Religious studies, Kuresoi North community and the country at large in the process of peace building and reconciliation in areas affected by ethnic conflicts. In this study different variables were considered; Independent variables are peace building and reconciliation while dependent variables are the religious approaches. The study employed a mixed research design. The primary data were contained in duly filled questionnaires and interviews while the secondary data were in notes form. The sample size was that of one hundred and ninety-three drawn from the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecostal Assemblies of God and the Baptist Churches. Data was presented using frequency distribution and percentage tables, bar graphs and pie charts in relation to the research topic. The study established that the main causes of ethnic conflicts in Kuresoi North include competition for resources, political instigations, security and recognition and acceptance. The study’s findings indicated that religious methods such as, problem solving workshops, mediations and negotiations and confessions have been very effective in peace building and reconciliation. However, the study established that the religious approaches are not applied continually so as to promote peace and reconciliation. Religious leaders and organizations should therefore promote peace and reconciliation continuously and not wait for ethnic conflict to erupt so as to be relevant.