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Kenya’s leaders address need for Bible translation into local languages

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG.

By Aaron Sseruyigo

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, have made a firm commitment towards engaging with Churches in order to boost the moral standards among young people in Kenya, and also support projects that seek to translate the Bible into local languages.

Speaking during a worship service at PCEA Berea Church, Gachororo in Juja, a town in Kiambu County in Kenya, President Uhuru on Sunday noted that churches have a crucial role to play in upholding morals in society and as such will be roped in efforts made by the government.

Kenyatta welcomed efforts channeled towards setting up churches in the country, noting that it was part of the journey to having a better nation.

“As we pull our resources together to construct these places of worship, we also contribute towards the well being of our society,” Kenyatta said, according to local media.

“My Government will closely engage religious organisations towards instilling better morals among our young people,” he added.

Bible Society of Kenya reported that the Deputy President Ruto has been supporting churches in an initiative to translate the Bible into local languages, a move he says seeks to have more people reading and getting a better understanding of the scriptures.

He said that he is unapologetic about his stand as a christian and desires that all language groups in Kenya will have a Bible in a language they understand best.

He added that Bible Society of Kenya (BSK) and Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) are the organizations that do Bible translation in Kenya and urgently need Ksh 400 million to translate Bibles for communities that do not have Bibles at all in their local languages.

According to Mr. Peter Munguti, National Director of the Bible Translation and Literacy, only 21, out of the 60 communities in Kenya have complete Bibles languages. He says Bible translation has taken long long due to; complexity of language, low literacy levels among minority languages and lack of adequate finances.

The predominant faith group in Kenya is Christianity, which is adhered to by an estimated 84.8% of the total population. Islam is the second largest religion inKenya, practiced by about 9.7% of the total population.

Open Doors – USA reported that many Christians living in northeastern and coastal regions of Kenya have been severely traumatized by violent attacks and face a great deal of antagonism from the Muslim society.

The non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed, reports that within Kenya itself, some of the country’s tribal leaders are opposed to Christianity, viewing it as a threat.

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