Fredrick Nzwili, Religion News Service

Fredrick Nzwili is a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. For more than 15 years, he has written about religion, politics, peace and conflict, development, security, environment and wildlife. His articles have appeared in international media organizations among others; The Tablet, The Christian Science Monitor, The National Geographic and Kenyan local newspapers; The Standard and the People Daily.

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In Kenya, an HIV-Positive Pastor and His Wife Model New Thinking About AIDS

Image via Fredrick Nzwili / RNS

AIDS killed his wife in 2013, and his 13-year-old daughter the next year. And when his flock found out that Mutuse himself tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, many abandoned him — and some thought his diagnosis justified the burning of his church.

A Catholic Priest Is Mediating Mugabe’s Departure

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe watches a video presentation during the summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Johannesburg, South Africa August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

The priest first met Mugabe, a Catholic in an overwhelmingly Protestant country, in 1974 at a Jesuit social service agency outside the nation’s capital, Harare, where Mugabe’s sister worked.

Kenyan Religious Leaders Concerned by 'Bible Heroes' Tone of Presidential Race

Image via RNS/Fredrick Nzwili

"They want their supporters to believe this is a divine call, which is not. I think they are manipulating their supporters," said the Rev. Wilybard Lagho, the Mombasa Roman Catholic archdiocese vicar general.

Commuting to Nairobi, the Train Becomes a Church

Image via RNS/Fredrick Nzwili

Starting in the suburb of Ruiru, about 19 miles north of Nairobi, the train for the past five years has informally hosted a growing number of self-styled pastors and a makeshift, moving congregation eager to hear the gospel.

At least two coaches turn into “churches” each day, with Christians singing, dancing, and clapping as they prepare for a short sermon during the one-hour journey.

Christian Groups Respond to Growing Sudanese Refugee Crisis

Photo via AP Photo/Ben Curtis/ RNS 

“This is a fast-growing humanitarian situation which we have never seen before,” said Benson Okabo, World Vision’s West Nile Refugee Response operations manager. “We are concerned that the donor assistance has been little.”

On World Water Day, African Church Leaders Highlight Shortages

Image via RNS/Fredrick Nzwili

The drought in the Sahel — a region that forms a dry belt across northern Africa — has left millions without any water to drink, and is being linked to three deaths in recent days in Kenya, due to consumption of unsafe water.

“There are no drops to reduce, recycle, or reuse,” said professor Jesse Mugambi, of the University of Nairobi, who added that many in the region are spending World Water Day “praying for drops of rain to quench their thirst and that of their livestock.”

In Kenya, a Pastor Fights Against Female Genital Mutilation

Image via RNS/Reuters/Siegfried Modola

Clutching a Bible in one hand and a walking stick in the other, Pastor Stephen Lenku Tipatet traverses the plains of Kajiado County, fighting female circumcision and propounding on the Christian gospel.

The region is the homeland of the Maasai, an indigenous community in Southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The community has resisted modernity and Western influences, and clings to their traditional way of life, including the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM.

Rwandan Bishops Apologize for Role in 1994 Genocide

Image via RNS/Reuters/Noor Khamis

Roman Catholic bishops in Rwanda have issued an apology for the role played by individual clergy and church members, in the 1994 genocide in which nearly 1 million ethnic Tutsis and Hutus were killed.

On Nov. 20, the apology was read aloud in all Catholic churches, in the local Kinyarwanda dialect. It came at the end of Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Anglican Priest in Kenya Joins Lawsuit Demanding Greater Rights for Gays

Image via Fredrick Nzwili / RNS

An Anglican priest has joined two gay men and two lesbians in a suit against the state over discriminatory laws that they see as encroaching on the rights and freedoms of sexual minorities in the East African country.

The Rev. Mark Odhiambo and the other plaintiffs charge that gays and lesbians in Kenya are routinely attacked, raped, evicted from their homes, and arbitrarily arrested. Odhiambo is a curate, or assistant to the parish priest, in Maseno South, a diocese on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Desmond Tutu's Daughter Quits Priesthood After Marrying a Woman

Desmond Tutu with Mpho Tutu. Image via REUTERS/Fredrik Sandberg/TT/RNS

The daughter of Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has given up her clergy credentials after marrying a Dutch woman.

The Rev. Mpho Tutu told the local media that since her church did not recognize her wedding, she could no longer serve in the country.

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