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Tonny Onyulo

Nairobi, Kenya
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About Tonny
Tonny Onyulo is a freelance print and broadcast journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He reports across Africa. He has worked for both local and international media, including Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), County Newspaper in Nairobi, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, USA Today, Washington Times, NBC, Newsweek, Quartz and Global Post.
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In South Sudan, church works to keep young people off streets, drugs

12 May 2024  |  Detroit Catholic
In Yei, South Sudan, young people like John Sebit, who lost his family to violence, turn to drugs to cope with trauma. The civil war, which began in 2013 due to a political struggle between President Salva Kiir and then Vice President Riek Machar, has led to widespread displacement and hunger. Religious leaders attribute the rise in drug abuse to the psychological impact of violence. The Catholic Church, through the Diocese of Yei, is actively working to combat this issue by providing psychological and social support, reintegration programs, and counseling services. Fr. Tom Poru Martin has initiated an awareness campaign, and trained individuals are engaging with youth to discuss the dangers of drugs. The government has praised the church's efforts, and Maj. Jimmy Lomoro Cosmas calls for a partnership to win the war against drug abuse. Sebit and others believe that peace is the ultimate solution to end drug abuse, as the lack of employment and school closures leave many idle.

Long-serving president accused of further delaying upcoming elections in Congo

18 Apr 2024  |  ara-network.com
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, concerns about election violence and credibility arise as President Joseph Kabila, whose term technically ended in 2016, remains in power and endorses Emmanuel Shadary as his successor. Opposition candidates, including Martin Fayulu, face obstacles such as violence at rallies and doubts about electronic voting machines. Despite Kabila's support for Shadary, polls show opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi leading. The UN Security Council calls for peaceful and credible elections, while experts like Peter Wafula Wekesa question the possibility of a fair contest.

South Sudan's suffering people are on 'brink of destitution,' bishop says

21 Mar 2024  |  catholicvirginian.org
Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio in South Sudan has issued a warning about the dire situation faced by the people of South Sudan, who are on the brink of destitution due to a combination of civil war, starvation, drought, and floods. Despite a 2018 peace agreement, violence and kidnappings persist, particularly in rural areas. The civil war has resulted in nearly 400,000 deaths and displaced over 4 million people. UNICEF reports that 9.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance through 2024. Bishop Kussala calls for international intervention, highlighting the plight of children forced to beg or work due to hunger, and the potential negative impact on the country's security. The situation is exacerbated by a brutal civil war in neighboring Sudan, which could lead to the world's largest hunger crisis.

Islamist Nigerian Militants Press Attacks Against Christians To Foment Religious War

26 Feb 2024  |  julieroys.com
Islamist Fulani militants, aligned with Boko Haram, are escalating attacks against Christians in central Nigeria, aiming to incite a religious war. A series of attacks, including a devastating one around Christmas, resulted in almost 200 deaths, with many injured or displaced. Survivors, now sheltered in Red Cross camps, lack basic necessities and mourn their losses. Religious leaders call for unity and government action against the terrorism that seeks to destabilize the country and establish an Islamic state.

Islamist Nigerian Militants Press Attacks Against Christians to Foment Religious War

26 Feb 2024  |  wordandway.org
Islamist Fulani militants in Plateau, Nigeria, continue a violent campaign against Christians, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. The attacks, linked to Boko Haram and the Islamic State group in West Africa, aim to destabilize the country and establish an Islamic state. Survivors recount harrowing experiences, and religious leaders urge unity and government action. The Red Cross provides aid to displaced victims, who face severe shortages of basic necessities.

Church fights Uganda’s child marriage ‘plague’

09 Dec 2023  |  www.catholicregister.org
In Uganda, child marriage is a prevalent issue, with a UNICEF report indicating that 34% of girls are married before age 18. The Catholic Church, alongside government agencies and NGOs, is working to prevent child marriages and early pregnancies through awareness programs, distribution of menstrual pads, and economic empowerment of parents. Catechist Paul Muhwezi from the Diocese of Soroti cited poverty and traditional beliefs as root causes, while nurse counselor Judith Mutesi emphasized the negative impacts on girls' health and education. Bishop Joseph Eciru Oliach has spoken out against the practice, and victims like Mbabazi are calling for government action to arrest and charge those involved in child marriages.

Churches aid families impacted by East African floods

17 Nov 2023  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
Hundreds of churches and humanitarian agencies in East Africa are aiding families affected by severe floods that have claimed 71 lives and displaced thousands. The World Meteorological Organization reports that the El Niño rains, which began in October, are expected to continue until April 2024, affecting countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, and South Sudan. Fr Fred Wafula of Caritas and Pastor Zakaria Barasa of the Pentecostal Church are among those leading efforts to provide food, shelter, and medical care to the displaced. Both religious leaders emphasize the urgent need for more humanitarian assistance and a permanent solution to the recurring floods and droughts in the region.

Congo faith leaders work for peace

13 Nov 2023  |  anabaptistworld.org
Religious leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo are spearheading grassroots peace initiatives as military interventions by East African forces fail to resolve conflicts in the eastern region. The area has been destabilized by tribal warfare and the presence of over 120 armed groups. With nearly 6 million internally displaced people and a million seeking asylum abroad, the violence has led to numerous deaths, food insecurity, and destruction of infrastructure. Christians, constituting half of Congo's population, have protested against the violence, and church leaders are actively working on peacebuilding and reconciliation at the community level. They provide platforms for dialogue, advocate for peace, and offer support to conflict survivors, including mental health counseling.

Congolese Faith Leaders Step Up Efforts To Promote Dialogue Among Warring Groups

08 Nov 2023  |  wordandway.org
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, religious leaders are taking a prominent role in peace negotiations and demonstrations to address the ongoing conflict, particularly in the eastern regions. With military interventions failing to stop the violence, Christian leaders, including Catholic bishops and Protestant pastors, are advocating for dialogue and reconciliation at the grassroots level. They are meeting with various community stakeholders, conducting workshops, and providing essential support to displaced individuals. The efforts come in response to the resurgence of the March 23 Movement and the resulting humanitarian crisis, which has seen millions displaced and a significant death toll.

Congolese faith leaders step up efforts to promote dialogue among warring groups

07 Nov 2023  |  religionnews.com
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, religious leaders are taking a prominent role in peace negotiations and demonstrations to address the ongoing conflict, particularly in the eastern regions. The violence, exacerbated by the resurgence of the March 23 Movement, has led to thousands of deaths, displacement, and human rights violations. Christian leaders, representing the dominant faith in the country, are urging for dialogue and reconciliation, with grassroots efforts to build a culture of peace. Pope Francis has also called for peace during his visit to the country. Churches are actively supporting displaced individuals by providing essential services and advocating for their well-being.

Pursuing peace: Congolese faith leaders step up efforts to promote dialogue among warring groups

20 Oct 2023  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
Congolese faith leaders are intensifying efforts to promote peace and dialogue among warring groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Weekly workshops and community meetings are being conducted to train traditional and church leaders in peace promotion. The conflict, primarily in the eastern regions of North Kivu and Ituri, has displaced millions and led to severe humanitarian crises. Religious leaders, including Catholic bishops and Protestant pastors, are advocating for reconciliation and addressing the root causes of violence, such as poverty and corruption. The church is also providing essential humanitarian aid and mental health support to conflict survivors.

Religious leaders urge Kenyans to elect 'God-fearing' leaders

09 Oct 2023  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
Religious leaders in Kenya are urging voters to elect 'God-fearing' leaders in the upcoming elections to combat corruption, hunger, and poverty. They emphasize the need for leaders with integrity and caution against electing those with questionable ethics. The call comes amid a history of major corruption scandals in the country. Leaders from various religious backgrounds stress the importance of ethical principles and reject donations from corrupt politicians.

Church fights a battle for young girls in Uganda, where child marriage is a plague

02 Oct 2023  |  Home | New Outlook
In Soroti, Uganda, the Catholic Church is actively combating the high prevalence of child marriage, a practice exacerbated by poverty and traditional beliefs. Lala Mbabazi, a 16-year-old girl forced into marriage, represents the plight of many young girls in the region. The church, alongside government agencies and NGOs, is working to educate communities on the negative impacts of child marriage and empower girls to make informed choices. Efforts include distributing menstrual pads to keep girls in school and supporting parents with small businesses to reduce economic pressures. Church leaders, like Bishop Joseph Eciru Oliach, are vocal against the practice, urging parents to prioritize education over dowry prices.

Christian leaders step up aid as people face multiple crises in Burkina Faso

01 Oct 2023  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
Religious leaders in Burkina Faso are intensifying their humanitarian efforts to assist millions affected by conflict and climate change. The Catholic Church, led by Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré, has launched a solidarity fund to support displaced individuals and those facing hunger. Other denominations, such as the Pentecostal church in Ouagadougou, are also providing relief to victims of violence and climate-induced hardships. The initiatives aim to offer sustainable aid independent of government support, with donations being collected from parishes and well-wishers.

Pilgrims trek days to join Uganda’s Martyrs Day observance

03 Jun 2023  |  Today's Catholic
Thousands of pilgrims from Uganda and neighboring countries gathered in Namugongo for the annual Martyrs Day observance, focusing on prayers for peace, human rights, and economic stability. The event, marked by a significant spiritual theme, saw reduced attendance compared to pre-pandemic years. Key figures emphasized the importance of faith and the need for government tolerance and human rights respect amidst ongoing economic and social challenges.

Churches aiding flood-affected in DRC's South Kivu

09 May 2023  |  sightmagazine.com.au
Churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church, are providing aid to victims of severe floods and landslides in South Kivu province. The natural disaster has resulted in over 440 deaths, with thousands missing and many displaced. President Felix Tshisekedi declared a national day of mourning and dispatched government officials to assist in relief efforts. Bishop Josué Bulambo Lembe-Lembe highlighted the urgent need for food, shelter, and medical supplies. Tearfund, a Christian charity, is working to rescue those still missing and has called for urgent international support.

Sudan conflict: Churches in neighbouring countries offer aid to those fleeing war

26 Apr 2023  |  Sight Magazine
Churches and NGOs in countries neighboring Sudan are providing aid to millions affected by the civil war that began on 15th April, leaving thousands dead and over three million displaced. The conflict involves the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces, leading to widespread chaos, deaths, and a shutdown of essential services. The United Nations has launched an appeal for $US2.6 billion in aid, with Saudi Arabia and the United States leading ceasefire talks. Churches in South Sudan and other organizations like Christian Aid and Caritas are actively supporting refugees with food, water, shelter, and medical aid, while also evacuating people to safer zones. The international community is urged to increase support to address the escalating humanitarian crisis.

South Sudan Christian leaders welcome sentencing of four convicted of Catholic bishop's attempted murder

25 Apr 2023  |  Sight Magazine
In South Sudan, four men, including a clergyman, were sentenced for the attempted murder of Catholic Bishop Fr Christian Carlassare of the Diocese of Rumbek. The High Court in Juba convicted the individuals on 25th April, with varying prison terms. Religious leaders, including Pastor Deng Majok, expressed satisfaction with the justice served, hoping it would deter future violence against church figures. Bishop Carlassare thanked the government and saw the verdict as a step towards peace. The country has faced a civil war since 2013, leading to numerous deaths, including church leaders, amid efforts to bring reconciliation and aid to millions affected by the humanitarian crisis.

South Sudanese Refugees, Fleeing a Second Civil War in Sudan, Return Home to Bleak Prospects

15 Apr 2023  |  ChurchLeaders
South Sudanese refugees are returning from Sudan to face dire conditions amid a new civil war in Sudan that began on April 15, 2023. Nearly 400,000 people died and over 4 million were displaced during South Sudan's civil war, which ended in 2018. Now, over 67,000 refugees are being settled into congested camps in northern South Sudan without basic necessities. Religious leaders, including Archbishop Stephen Ameyu and Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, are calling for international aid to assist the refugees and returnees who are struggling with hunger, weakness, and lack of shelter.

Nigerian churches provide material and spiritual support to those impacted by floods

19 Nov 2022  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
Hundreds of churches in Nigeria, including the Catholic Church, are providing aid to victims of the country's worst floods in over a decade, which have affected 34 states, left over 600 dead, and displaced more than 1.4 million people. Religious leaders are offering material support, such as food, shelter, and cash assistance, as well as spiritual and emotional support. Significant contributions include Archbishop Valerian Okeke of Onitsha Archdiocese distributing relief items and the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja releasing over $6,800 in aid. The Knights of St John International also donated over $18,170 to assist flood victims and repair affected Catholic institutions.

Security tightens at Nigerian churches, mosques following attack

25 Jul 2022  |  sightmagazine.com.au
In Nigeria, security has been heightened at churches and mosques during services following a deadly attack on a Catholic church in Owo, which resulted in over 50 fatalities. Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji voiced the concerns of Christians feeling unsafe. The government is taking measures to protect worshippers, with police and army personnel screening identities and bags at worship places. Lagos State police have increased patrols, and the Catholic Church has issued ID cards to members and deployed security officers. Bishop Martin Udoh of the Pentecostal church is also employing private security to protect his congregants and maintain records of attendees.

Catholics in South Sudan, Congo had hoped papal visit would lead to peace

21 Jun 2022  |  The Catholic Sun
Residents of South Sudan and Congo had high hopes that a visit from Pope Francis, along with other religious leaders, would promote peace and reconciliation in their war-torn countries. The visit was postponed due to the pope's knee ailment, leading to disappointment among the people who saw the visit as a potential catalyst for peace. The article highlights the ongoing civil war in South Sudan, the suffering of its people, and the various peace deals that have failed to end the conflict. In Congo, the visit was also seen as a significant event, with church leaders condemning the ongoing violence and urging continued prayer and hope for peace.

Catholic diocese appeals for financial help after church attack in Nigeria

15 Jun 2022  |  Sight Magazine
The Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Nigeria, is seeking financial aid to support victims of a church attack at St Francis Catholic Church, where 40 people were killed by gunmen suspected to be from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). The attack occurred during a Pentecost service, involving explosives and gunfire. The diocese, in collaboration with the State Government, is addressing funeral and medical expenses for the victims' families. The incident has instilled fear among local worshippers, leading to decreased church attendance due to security concerns. The country is also facing challenges with the Boko Haram insurgency and criminal activities such as kidnappings.

Churches prepare to mark Nov. 7 day of prayer for persecuted Christians

07 Nov 2021  |  cruxnow.com
Christians worldwide will observe the International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians on November 7, focusing on the estimated 260 million believers facing persecution. Africa, particularly the regions where Muslim and Christian populations intersect, is a significant center of this persecution. Economic interests, such as control over natural resources, often drive the violence. Aid to the Church in Need International and other organizations are actively involved in supporting persecuted Christians and raising awareness. The report highlights the severe impact of authoritarian governments, Islamist extremism, and ethno-religious nationalism on religious freedom, with significant examples from Africa and Asia. Despite the challenges, there are signs of resilience and hope, with efforts to maintain peace and international initiatives to address religious persecution.

Polish bishops say ‘no taboo topics’ during ad limina visit to Vatican

01 Nov 2021  |  cruxnow.com
Poland's bishops concluded their ad limina visits to Rome, engaging in meetings with Pope Francis and the Roman Curia without avoiding any sensitive topics. Despite the Polish Church's vibrancy, it faces a credibility crisis due to media reports of clerical sexual abuse. The Vatican has sanctioned or removed ten bishops, including a cardinal, and investigations continue. Calls for an independent commission to investigate abuse in Poland have been made, similar to France's recent actions. Archbishop Wojciech Polak acknowledges the crisis, while Auxiliary Bishop Adrian Galbas and Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki discussed the nature of the ad limina and the issue of disproportionate punishments for bishops compared to convicted abusers. Journalist Tomasz Krzyżak emphasized the lasting harm caused by abuse cover-ups.

Pope meets head of scandal-plagued order struggling with reform

01 Nov 2021  |  cruxnow.com
Pope Francis met with José David Correa Gonzalez, leader of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a Peruvian lay group embroiled in scandals involving sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. The SCV is undergoing a major reform, including rewriting its constitutions, under Vatican supervision. The group's founder, Luis Fernando Figari, was exiled by the Vatican in 2017 due to abuse allegations. Journalists Paola Ugaz and Pedro Salinas, who reported on the SCV's abuses, faced legal challenges from SCV members. Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Barreto has suggested the SCV should be dissolved. The Vatican has introduced new penal code provisions for laypeople, and the SCV's future remains uncertain as it continues its reform process.

Cardinal Burke continues to recover, urges Catholics to pray rosary daily

15 Oct 2021  |  cruxnow.com
Cardinal Raymond L. Burke is recovering from COVID-19 with the help of physical therapy and is now able to celebrate daily Mass. He expressed gratitude for the prayers and support he received and encouraged Catholics to pray the rosary daily, especially for peace. Burke, who has expressed concerns about the moral implications of COVID-19 vaccines, has not disclosed whether he has been vaccinated. The Vatican has stated that it is morally acceptable to receive vaccines developed using cell lines from aborted fetuses when no alternatives are available. Burke continues his recovery in Wisconsin, near his family.

A Christian funeral is a journey with three stations

01 Oct 2021  |  cruxnow.com
November, traditionally dedicated to the dead, is a time when the Church emphasizes the afterlife. The Funeral Mass, central to Catholic funerals, worships God and prays for the deceased's transition from earthly life to the afterlife, potentially through purgatory, to heaven. The funeral comprises three stations: the vigil or wake, the Mass of Christian Burial, and the rite of committal at the graveside. The Mass, the core of the process, should not be altered by personal desires and should focus on resurrection and eternal life in God. The funeral's purpose is to offer intercession for the departed and consolation for loved ones, maintaining its supernatural focus and ancient beauty.

God surpasses Paul’s expectations — and ours

10 Aug 2021  |  angelusnews.com
Saul, trained as a Pharisee and student of Gamaliel the Great, awaited the Messiah who would deliver Israel. His expectations were surpassed when he learned that Jesus was the Messiah, bringing a type of deliverance that was unexpected. Paul, as an apostle, struggled to express the meaning of salvation, using various metaphors such as justification, redemption, and adoption. He emphasized the covenant with God, which through Jesus' new covenant, created a stronger family bond, making believers children of God. Paul's teachings reveal that God's plan for salvation was to be our Father, not just our judge.

Rwandan immigrant turns himself in for killing French priest

09 Aug 2021  |  cruxnow.com
A Rwandan immigrant, Emmanuel Abayisenga, turned himself in for the murder of Father Olivier Maire, a French provincial of the Montfort Missionaries who had offered him housing. Abayisenga, previously released on bail for the 2020 arson of Nantes Cathedral, allegedly beat Maire to death. The incident has sparked criticism of French immigration policies from right-wing politicians. Various religious and political figures have expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Maire.

Poll reveals religious differences in acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine

05 Aug 2021  |  angelusnews.com
A Public Religion Research Institute poll released on August 5 showed significant differences among religious groups regarding the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves or their children. White and Hispanic Catholics are more likely to vaccinate their children compared to white and Hispanic evangelical Protestants. Faith-based approaches, such as religious leaders endorsing vaccines or religious congregations hosting vaccine clinics, may influence vaccine-hesitant parents. The poll also noted an increase in support for religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations since January, particularly among Republicans and parents of school-age children.

Kenya move to shutter refugee camps puts Somalis at risk

02 May 2021  |  washingtontimes.com
Kenya's decision to close the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, which host nearly 440,000 people, primarily Somali refugees, has been met with concern and criticism. The Kenyan government cites security threats and economic burdens as reasons for the closure, while refugees like Abdalla Osman fear returning to the unstable and dangerous conditions in Somalia. International actors, including the U.S., have expressed concern, and the UNHCR is involved in discussions for a humane management plan. Previous attempts to close the camps were blocked by Kenya's high court, and the current closure plan faces logistical challenges and opposition from those who see the camps as vital for the refugees' survival and the local economy.

Is COVID-19 God’s Punishment? African Christians Debate as Their Presidents Die

18 Mar 2021  |  News & Reporting
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died, with the official cause being heart complications amidst speculation of COVID-19. His death has sparked debate among African Christians about whether the pandemic is a divine punishment. Religious leaders in Burundi and Tanzania have expressed varying views, with some seeing the virus as a punishment for sins and others urging adherence to health guidelines and vaccination. The Tanzanian government has been criticized for its lax approach to the pandemic, and the country's Catholic church has acknowledged a significant loss of clergy to the virus. The debate extends to the role of faith and prayer versus science and medicine in addressing the pandemic.

The Art of Pastoring: Unsexy Ministry

01 Dec 2020  |  News & Reporting
Jared Wilson and Ronnie Martin discuss the critical yet often overlooked aspects of ministry, emphasizing the importance of ordinary, everyday pastoral work such as hospital counseling and hallway prayers. The podcast, produced by Christianity Today, underscores how these unglamorous tasks can significantly impact and transform the church.

Engineered in His Image? Christians More Cautious About Gene Editing.

01 Dec 2020  |  www.christianitytoday.com
Christians globally are cautious about gene-editing technology, particularly regarding altering a baby's genetic makeup. The Pew Research Center survey found that Christians are less likely than the religiously unaffiliated to approve of gene-editing research. Bioethical concerns are growing, with debates around the use of CRISPR technology for disease treatment and the ethical implications of embryo destruction. Christian organizations and ethicists are calling for more theological reasoning on the topic, while recognizing the need for Christian formation to address bioethical issues in technology.

For Pilgrims, Thanksgiving Was a Way of Life

23 Nov 2020  |  News & Reporting
The article explores the historical and spiritual significance of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. It contrasts traditional portrayals with historical accounts, highlighting the Pilgrims' deep sense of gratitude and providence despite their hardships. The Pilgrims' high view of providence and communal expressions of thankfulness are emphasized, along with their belief in the priesthood of all believers. The article also addresses differing historical interpretations and underscores the enduring lessons on faith and gratitude from the Pilgrims' experience.

Anchoring love, prayer, and service

18 Nov 2020  |  angelusnews.com
David Brooks, in his book 'The Second Mountain,' emphasizes the importance of creating a structure of behavior to sustain fidelity in vocations when initial enthusiasm fades. The article discusses the challenges of maintaining long-term commitments in marriage, faith, and service, highlighting the necessity of routine, ritual, and habit to provide stability through periods of dryness and difficulty. The author shares personal experiences and advice given to seminarians, stressing that commitments can act as a container to sustain love and enthusiasm through tough times.

In Tanzania: Amid deadly resurgence, officials maintain they can pray the 'coronavirus devil' away

18 May 2020  |  www.sightmagazine.com.au
In Tanzania, religious leaders and government officials, including President John Pombe Magufuli, are promoting prayer as a means to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, often disregarding social distancing and other health guidelines. Despite official claims of the country being 'coronavirus-free,' critics and opposition leaders argue that the government is underreporting cases and deaths, with hospitals overwhelmed and secret night burials occurring. The World Health Organization has expressed concern and urged Tanzania to release COVID-19 data and prepare for vaccination. The debate between faith and science in addressing the pandemic continues among African Christians.

During pandemic, some Ugandan Catholic women consider using birth control

18 May 2020  |  angelusnews.com
Agnes Muhozi, a Ugandan Catholic mother, faces a moral dilemma as she considers using birth control during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the Catholic Church's prohibition on artificial contraception, many women, including Muhozi, are turning to contraceptives due to economic hardships and increased time spent with partners during lockdown. Religious leaders from various denominations have urged women to use contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies, while Catholic leaders remain opposed. The situation highlights a significant breach between the laity and the church establishment in Uganda.

Sibling rivalry splits apart Uganda's Jewish community

31 Jan 2019  |  ara-network.com
The Abayudaya Jewish community in Mbale, Uganda, is experiencing a schism due to a conflict between Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and his half-brother Joab Jonadab Keki. The dispute centers on allegations of mismanagement of community funds and properties by Sizomu, which he denies, and differing religious practices, with Sizomu leading the Conservative faction and Keki adhering to Orthodoxy. The community's recognition by Israel and the right of return are also contentious issues. Keki has taken legal action to challenge the community's leadership and elections, while Sizomu accuses Keki of greed. The community, dating back to 1919, has faced challenges before, including persecution under Idi Amin's regime. The current conflict has escalated, with both sides accusing the other of corruption and mismanagement.

Christians in Uganda demand protection from Muslim extremists

24 Dec 2018  |  ara-network.com
In Uganda, Christians face increasing persecution from Muslim extremists, with incidents of violence and forced conversions reported. The Alliance of Democratic Forces, a group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is identified as a key instigator. Christian leaders, including Pastor Moses Saku, are calling for government protection, while Muslim leaders like Abubakar Yusuf warn against provocative statements. The situation highlights the growing religious tensions and the urgent need for intervention to ensure freedom of worship.

It's a girl and it's fine

16 Nov 2018  |  ara-network.com
In western Kenya, women face significant cultural pressure to bear sons, leading to social ostracism and personal distress for those who have daughters. Joyce Nafula's story exemplifies the stigma and abuse women endure for not meeting these expectations. Religious leaders, including Bishop Philip Anyolo, are working to change these norms by promoting gender equality and condemning violence against women. Despite the deep-rooted cultural beliefs, there is a growing movement to recognize the equal value of daughters and sons, driven by both religious advocacy and personal testimonies.

Wilson Harling Kinyua is serving a life sentence inside one of Africa's toughest jails - Kamiti Maximum Security prison in Nairobi, Kenya. He's been there for 16 years. The way he tells it, he was an innocent bystander as an armed robbery played out nearby. But that's not how the authorities saw it. He was arrested and charged for being involved. Without access to a lawyer and unable to call on a character witness to vouch for his honesty, the young college student was convicted and despatched to Kamiti where he's protested his innocence ever since. Without a legal-aid system and with a critical shortage of lawyers and a courts choked with an insurmountable backlog of cases there wouldn't appear to be much hope of Harling ever overturning his conviction and regaining his freedom. Unless of course he was encouraged and enabled to make the case himself. Harling is one of many inmates who've taken the opportunity to learn about criminal law, participate in mock trials and review an

Life in Somalia with al-Shabab rebels

19 Apr 2015  |  www.usatoday.com
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group, has been causing chaos in Somalia since the central government's collapse in the early 1990s. They are responsible for extortion, kidnappings, terror attacks, and controlling remote areas. The group recently attacked Garissa University College in Kenya, killing 148 people. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called for cooperation with Kenya to fight al-Shabab, leading to Kenyan airstrikes on their camps. Despite efforts, including American drone strikes, al-Shabab remains a threat, targeting government and UN facilities, and instilling fear in the population. Citizens like Ali Bashir and Nathar Abubakar have suffered greatly, with Bashir living in an old headquarters with 1,000 families and Abubakar losing her husband to the militants. Children, like Osman Mohammed, are also victims of the violence. The situation remains dire, with little hope for change without substantial foreign military support.

Christian-Muslim conflict in Central African Republic has refugees afraid to leave camps

15 Apr 2015  |  www.washingtontimes.com
In the Central African Republic, despite the presence of 13,000 UN peacekeeping troops and recent peace agreements, refugees like Bahriyah Abidah remain fearful of leaving camps due to the threat of Christian anti-balaka militias. The conflict, which escalated after the Seleka group seized power in 2013, has resulted in thousands of deaths and widespread displacement. Although violence has subsided and elections are planned for July, many Muslims distrust the peace process and the promise of security. The international community, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, is working to prevent famine and restore agricultural productivity. However, the trauma of the conflict continues to overshadow memories of previous religious harmony.

Armed terrorists storm Kenyan university, killing 147

02 Apr 2015  |  www.usatoday.com
Armed terrorists from the Somali-based group al-Shabab attacked Garissa University in Kenya, killing 147 people, wounding dozens, and taking hostages. The siege lasted 15 hours before security forces killed four militants. The attackers targeted Christians and converts to Islam. Over 550 students were evacuated, and a curfew was imposed in Garissa and neighboring counties. The White House and U.S. ambassador to Kenya condemned the attack. A $220,000 bounty was offered for the suspected planner, Mohammed Mohamud. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for vigilance and announced the acceleration of police recruitment.

Children suffer Boko Haram's murderous spree

10 Mar 2015  |  www.usatoday.com
Children, including 9-year-old Tom Gowon, are severely affected by Boko Haram's violence in Nigeria, with many losing parents and facing trauma in refugee camps in Chad. The Baga Sola camp, housing many such children, is overwhelmed, lacking in supplies and security. A multinational force is fighting back against Boko Haram, which has displaced over a million Nigerians and declared allegiance to the Islamic State. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has promised a counteroffensive amidst his re-election campaign, while the future for children like Gowon remains bleak and uncertain.

Witch hunts in Tanzania: Women live in fear

26 Feb 2015  |  www.usatoday.com
In northwestern Tanzania, women are increasingly targeted by witch hunts, with villagers attacking those they suspect of witchcraft, particularly in relation to albino murders. Jane Faidha Bakari was killed by villagers, and her husband, Moses Bakari, witnessed the attack. Over 1,000 women were killed last year, and more than 3,000 suspected witches have been killed in the past six years. The government's ban on witchcraft and reliance on courts has been criticized by locals. The United Nations and advocacy groups are concerned about the rise in attacks against albinos and witches, especially with the upcoming presidential elections. Tanzanian police find it difficult to apprehend the culprits of these lynchings, and older women, in particular, are living in fear.

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