Pope Francis has challenged Kenyans to work towards reconciliation and peaceful co-existence between communities.
In his speech, the Pope noted that Kenya is a Multi-ethnic society that is fully harmonious, saying experience shows that violence, conflict and terrorism thrive on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration.
“Kenya is a young and vibrant nation,” said Pope Francis. “Cohesion, integration, and tolerance towards other people must be a primary goal.”
“Ultimately, the struggle against these enemies of peace and prosperity must be carried on by men and women who fearlessly believe in, and bear honest witness to the great spiritual and political values which inspired the birth of the nation,” added the Holy Father.
Speaking when he arrived at State House in his maiden trip to Africa, the Pope reiterated the need to nurture young people with strong values.
“Yours is a nation of young people. I look forward to meeting many of them, speaking with them and encouraging their aspirations in the future.”
Pope Francis urged Kenyans to invest in the youth and secure their future.
“The youth are any nation’s most valuable resource,” said the Pope.
“To protect them, invest in them and to offer a helping hand is the best way we can ensure a future worthy of the wisdom and spiritual values dear to their elders, values which are the very heart and soul of a people.”
In the same breath, Pope Francis urged Kenyans to conserve the environment adding that as Kenyans, we have a responsibility to pass a clean and better environment to future generations.
“Kenya has been blessed with abundances of natural resources,” said Pope Francis.
“The Kenyan people have an appreciation for God given treasures. The grave environmental crisis facing our world demands an even greater sensitivity to the relationship between human beings and nature.”
“In a world which continues to exploit rather than protect our common home, they must inspire the efforts of national leaders to promote responsible models of economic development,” added the Pope.
However, the Pope noted that how we relate with nature stems from how we treat others.
“There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself,” stated Pope Francis.
The Pope, who is in the country for a three day visit, said he was grateful for the warm welcome he had received.
“I look forward to my stay,” said the Pope.
Citizen Digital Kenya