The Contemporary Challenge of Hindu-Christian Relations in Kenya

Stephen Akaranga Ifedha, Moywaywa Charles Kinanga


This study analyses the historical background of the relationship between the Hindu and Christian communities in pre-independent and post independent Kenya and how this has influenced Hindu-Christian relations in modern Kenya. It focuses on specific occurrences during this period that had a bearing on the direction of this connection and the interactional patterns that emerged between these two communities in the pre-colonial and colonial eras. The target population that this study focused on comprised Kenyan Hindus of Indian ethnicity and African Christians of native ethnicity. Nairobi county was selected due to the large number of Hindus and Christians residing in this city.

The sample size comprised 50 Indian Hindus and 520 African Christians. Probability and non probability sampling techniques were employed. A descriptive design was utilized, while data was collected using oral interviews, questionnaires and participant observation. Data analysis was done qualitatively using the grounded theory approach. The study concludes that there is a connection between the state of Hindu-Christian relations in Kenya today, with the socio-economic and political environment during the pre-colonial and colonial periods. It also argues the case for a possible re-orientation of the relationship patterns between the two faith communities for future posterity and continued harmonious co-existence.

Key Words: Caste system, Indentured Indians, Indian coolies, raj, Devonshire white paper, rockets, dukawalla.

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