Kenya has been Africa's crown jewel of Christianity. About 78 percent of Kenya's 32 million people are Christians; 36 percent are evangelicals. Christianity continues to grow steadily in many varieties. In a nation with a literacy rate of 85 percent, the Christian press is finally in a position to reach out to this huge potential audience. A freer political atmosphere and a growing economy have combined to unshackle the press—Christians included.
In December 2002 elections, Mwai Kibaki and his opposition National Rainbow Coalition trounced Daniel arap Moi's ruling Kenya African National Union, which had governed the country since independence in 1963. With press licenses no longer dependent on taking the government's line, Kenya now has 17 national Christian publications, compared with 5 a decade ago.
In August, Faith Daily, initially a weekly funded by the Nairobi-based Jesus Is Alive Ministries, became the country's fifth daily. It has an initial print run of 5,000 copies.
"The newspaper was formed to give Christians a voice," said Margaret Wanjiru, the paper's managing director. "It will be run by professionals and will report events from a purely Christian perspective."
Until now, denominations and ministries have been able to publish only monthly magazines and newspapers. These include the Catholic-run New People; End Times of the Redeemed Gospel Church, a charismatic church active in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa; and Maximum Miracle, published by Maximum Miracle Center, a media-conscious church organization founded in 1990 that has 70 offices across Kenya.
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Faith Daily and New People are available online.
For more stories on Kenya, see AllAfrica.com and CT's World Report, which includes:
Mixing Religion and Politics | Churches attempt to overcome constitutional stalemate (March 18, 2004)
Courting Trouble | Christians oppose embedding Islamic tribunals in Kenya's new constitution. (July 22, 2003)
Churches Back Kenya's Truth Commission | Panel will examine allegations of murder and corruption under former president. (March 19. 2003)
Churches Celebrate Kenya's New President | They are pushing for health care, free education, and an improved economy. (Feb. 20, 2003)
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