Interreligious Dialogue for Conflict Resolution

"My name is Elder Emmanuel Munyaya, and as a member of the CICC Board representing African Traditional Religion, I have been privileged to participate in many peacebuilding initiatives in Kilifi County. My desire is to see the community and society at large live in peace with each other despite the difference in religious diversity," Elder Munyaya said. He added, "I have acquired much knowledge and skills in peacebuilding, interreligious dialogue, and prevention and countering of violent extremism through many trainings and activities organised by the Civil Peace Service."

Elder Munyaya went on to express his concern about the insecurity issues in Kilifi County, such as the lynching of men and women alleged to be witches due to their old age, gender-based violence, early marriages and teenage pregnancies. He said, "My wish and aspiration is to see all of us live peacefully and respectfully." He further stated that through inter-religious exchanges with other clerics, he had mentored and learnt much from other religious leaders under the umbrella of CICC Trust. "I am privileged to have participated and contributed to empowering my community towards peacebuilding using intra- and interreligious dialogue," he said.

Reflecting on an incident that occurred in Kilifi County in November 2021, Elder Munyaya recounted how a group of Taita Taveta University students and members of Christian Union attacked the Kaya elders during a prayer session. He said, "The young students also confronted the other members of Kaya elders, paraded us outside the shrine and began praying for us outside the shrine after claiming that they had been led by the Holy Spirit and urging us to stop our traditional way of worship." He added that the Kaya elders remained calm during the confrontation, which led the local Deputy County Commissioner to dispatch a contingency of security agents to calm the situation.

However, the conflict was resolved amicably by Elder Munyaya and another Kaya elder, Elder Chivatsi, who mediated between the Christian Union members and the Kaya members. Elder John Mitsanze, another member of the CICC Kaloleni chapter who calmed the Christian Union members and the Kaya Members, called for an end in the admonishment of other faiths to be tolerant of other faiths. Elder Munyaya said, "At the CICC, we actively champion peace, tolerance and the promotion of diversity through interreligious dialogue. We hold dear all our members' opinions, views, and practices. I am grateful to CICC for promoting diversity, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence in a diverse and inter-religious community."