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April 24, 2010

Orthodoxy in Kenya

Orthodox Churches in Kenya are Dedicated to Russian Saints

Moscow, 21 April 2010, Interfax – The Orthodox community of Kenya is the most numerous on the African continent and consists of about a million parishioners out of the 35 million population of the country.

Today the Kenyan Diocese of the Alexandrian Patriarchate has about 200 churches, dozens of church parochial schools and even a seminary in Riruta, a suburb of the Kenyan capital, NG-Religii paper writes on Wednesday.

Some of the village communities are so poor that priests have to celebrate services bare-foot in robes with holes. At the same time, Kenyan churches are full of parishioners on Sundays and feasts.

People stay in the church long after the services, they chant Christian hymns with African motives, dance and play tomtoms and bongs that are essential at the divine service in every Kenyan church.

Acting head of the diocese, Metropolitan Makarios of Kenya and Irinoupolis often dances with his parishioners.

Churches in Kenyan villages are usually made of wattle and daub, but big stone churches are being built in many villages, many of them are dedicated to Russian saints. The Metropolitan speaks Russian fluently and sometimes say prayers in church Slavonic language.