Christianity in Kenya

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Modern Christianity in Kenya dates from 1844, when a CMS missionary settled near Mombasa, but little progress was made until the 1870s. A settlement for freed slaves established at Freretown, near Mombasa, prospered, and the first Kenyans were ordained in 1885. When the Uganda Railway, begun in 1896, gave access to the central highland, RC and Protestant missionaries increased in number. The Kikuyu of Central Kenya were suspicious of the missionaries whom they saw as allies of the White settlers, and the settlers regarded them as pro-African. In 1929 controversy arose over the attempt of some Protestant missions to get the practice of clitoridectomy outlawed; many Kikuyu left the mission churches and schools and started their own free of missionary control. In the Mau Mau uprising of 1952 some Christians refused to take the secret Mau Mau oath and were killed; they are commemorated in the Anglican cathedral at Murang'a. After independence in 1964 there was a huge influx into the Churches. The RC and Anglican are the largest, but independent Church movements have grown and multiplied. By 2000 over 75 per cent of the population claimed to be Christian.

Subjects: Christianity.

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