Pray for Kenya




Pop 40.9 million. Capital Nairobi (3.5 mill). Christians 33.8 mill. Evangelical Christians 20 mill. Largest Religion Christian Fastest Growing Religion Muslim. Largest Ethnic Groups Bantu peoples (66%), Nilotic (29 .8%), Cushitic ( 2.7%), Swahili (0.6%), South Asian (0.3%), Arab(0.2%), British (0.2%), Khoisan (0.1%). Official Languages English, Swahili. All Languages 74. Economy Based on agriculture, light industries, and tourism. Good growth 1963-1976 , but then decline due to debt, recession, and mismanagement. Kenya is well known for widespread corruption. Droughts, floods, and famines affect large areas, raise food prices, and cause loss of livestock. Politics Independent from Britain in 1963. Years of mainly stable government favoured one ethnic group and suppressed opposition. Now a multiparty state. Violence and ethnic conflict followed the 2007 elections, and brought a coalition government. Kenyans approved a new constitution in 2010.

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1) Kenya is stable at this time, but faces many threats. Droughts in the north resulted in the death of 80% of livestock, and decreased pastureland. Ethnic groups clash violently over limited resources. The fragile environment, the need for land reform, a wide gap between rich and poor, scarce water, and urban slums that quickly spread all create tension in Kenyan society. Many of these fed the ethnic and political violence of 2007-2008. Pray for peace, for wise governance, and for practical solutions.

 2) Kenya has a massive evangelical presence. Nearly 50% of the population identify themselves as evangelicals, from Protestant, Independent, Anglican, and Catholic backgrounds! Pentecostals especially experienced rapid growth. Overall, 82% of Kenyans call themselves “Christian”. Why then does Kenya have so much poverty, and such corruption? With so much corruption, terrorists and international drug traffickers use Kenya as a base. Pray for Christians to unite to oppose wrongdoing, and to promote policies that honour God. Kenya needs a just and honest government that will uplift the poor and punish the wicked.

 3) Praise God for waves of church growth and renewal! The East African Revival ( 1948-1960) deeply impacted the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches. More recent charismatic renewal impacted millions of Catholics and Anglicans. Rapid growth brings challenges that need prayer. Less than 10% of Christians attend church regularly. Independent churches multiply quickly, but may lack accountability. Some mix Christian teachings with unbiblical beliefs and practices. Kenya has over 80,000 congregations, and they need trained leaders. 70 institutions train Christian workers for ministry, but even these cannot address such a large need. Pray for new, appropriate, affordable solutions.

 4) Many Kenyans now serve cross-culturally within Kenya or abroad. The Finish the Task movement mobilizes the Church to reach every unreached people in the nation. Kenya sends many missionaries, but could send many more, especially to the needy Horn of Africa region. Pray for churches, denominations, Bible schools, and seminaries to emphasize the Great Commission. Nairobi serves as a strategic hub for ministry in Africa and beyond. Many international Christian organizations have continental offices here.

 5) Major sectors of the population need specialized ministry:

 • Young people. The majority of Kenyans are children and youth, and the Church must prioritize ministry to them. City slum dwellers include over 100,000 street children. Pray for ways to minister to all aspects of these young people’s lives.

 • HIV/AIDS sufferers. About 500 people pass away every day due to AIDS, even though the infection rate decreased. Previously some Christians shunned those with HIV, but the Anglican Church recently apologized to AIDS victims for this mistreatment. Pray that Christians may lead in ministry to the sick, and to the hundreds of thousands of AIDS orphans.

 • Muslims. For centuries they have lived on the coast and in the northwest as a minority group. As Islam grows and changes, Christian-Muslim tensions increase. Violent outbreaks increase. Pray for peace between communities. Other Muslim groups live in the northeast (Oromo-related peoples), in the coastal hills (among the Mijikenda peoples), and along the coast (Swahili and Arab populations). Pray for Truth seekers to find the Saviour.

 • The Somali, who live in the northeast and in the cities. Trouble in Somalia drove tens of thousands into Kenya where they can encounter the gospel more easily than in their homeland. Some Christian workers reach out to them through holistic ministry, and perhaps a few hundred now follow Christ.

 • The Asian community made up of Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Parsees, Sikhs, and Christians. They work in trade and private industry, but face insecurity as Kenya’s economy struggles. Asian-African Concern Kenya brings together Asian, African, and international ministries who seek to reach all of East Africa’s Asian population. Pray for African churches to also pick up the challenge to reach Asians in Kenya.