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KENYA: Protestants to mobilise for 2007 World Social Forum

By Fredrick Nzwili
[Ecumenical News International]  Nairobi, 29 November (ENI)--Kenyan Protestant church leaders have pledge to mobilise their followers for the 2007 World Social Forum to be held in Nairobi from 20-25 January, saying their presence there will be of critical importance.

"We cannot let others arbitrate issues for our followers as we watch," said the Rev. Habil Omungu of the Kenya Anglican Church as leaders on 27 November announced plans for the meeting for proponents worldwide of an alternative way of conducting economic life.

African churches will participate at the WSF from 20 to 25 January through a platform of the Roman Catholic organization Caritas and the All Africa Conference of Churches.

The WSF usually meets each year when "anti-globalisation" supporters coordinate global campaigns and work out strategies regarding their issues. The forum tends to meet in January when the World Economic Forum, seen as representing mainstream capitalism, meets in Davos, Switzerland.

"It's important for the churches to be present in all these meetings so that they can articulate their positions," the Rev. Grace Kaiso, a Ugandan co-chair of the Caritas/AACC platform said. Kaiso said the groups would hone new ideas, acquire skills and network with others from around the world. "You are going to be the face of the African churches."

Pastor Benson Simiyu of Quaker Friends Church said: "It's a chance for us to let the people know the truth."