There is a considerable decline in the belief and practice of traditional religion in the young generation.  This is good news to the evangelization team in the Catholic Diocese of Homa bay.

It has less impact where there is a strong Small Christian Community.

Through the development projects and social discussions, the Diocese of Homa Bay is working hard on Ecumenism. Those working in the Diocese are from different denominations. The Diocesan Development Projects serve ALL in need.

Mainstream Churches have respect for one another and there is greater coordination and collaboration in the matters of marriage and funerals.

Religious Data

The total Catholic population is about 650,000; a population dominated by women. The whole Catholic population falls under the Roman rite and has the same religious practices.

In the region, Catholics form 30% of the total population. The rest of the non-Catholic Christians form 65% of the entire population, with the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) having a slightly larger number than the rest. Many of the non-Catholic Christians have split into smaller splinter groups due to leadership wrangles and divisions among them because of material reasons and human possessions.

Non-Catholic Christians are as follows:

  • Seventh Day Adventists (USA)
  • Pentecostal Assembly of East Africa (Canada)
  • Lutherans (Switzerland)
  • Church of God (USA)
  • Anglicans (England)
  • Full Gospel Church (USA)
  • African Inland Church (Indigenous Anglican Church)
  • Mennonite (Switzerland)
  • Maranatha

Observation I

The Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) is the oldest non-Catholic Christian denomination in the entire Diocese of Homa Bay. The members are socialized to treat the Catholic Church with suspicion. The SDA denomination has one hospital, one Private Teachers’ College and a few Secondary and Primary Schools. The SDA faith does not allow (employ) Catholics in their Institutions. The opposite is true of the Catholic Church; the Diocesan Caritas Office is a case in point.

Observation II

The Lutherans, Pentecostals and Church of God run a few schools and health centers for human development and evangelization. They are not as aggressive against the Catholic Church as the SDA. Many of their Church members become converted into the Catholic Faith.

The Diocese of Homa Bay does not have Religious Bodies from the West. Legio Maria sect is a group of Christians who fell away from the Catholic Church in the early years after Kenya’s independence. Although they are spread all over in the Metropolitan See of Kisumu, their number keeps decreasing as many of them get converted back to the Catholic Faith.

The Legio Maria group has a very exaggerated use of all the Pre-Vatican II religious symbols, vestments and rites, and other external religious decorations. However, its presence is of little consequence to the spread of the Catholic Faith.

Islam is the minority religion in the Diocese of Homa Bay. Moslems’ mode of spreading is by erecting mosques in market places coupled with the business entrepreneurship. Not much dialogue goes on between Moslems and Catholics. Their apparent plan is first to put up as many mosques as possible, and later attract Christians and convert them to their religion. Intermarriage is seldom, if any. Their idea of polygamy is to make sure that their number increases so that they convert the whole of Africa and possibly the whole world into their religion.

The phenomenon of fundamentalist Christians is not strange to the Catholic Diocese of Homabay. Ranging from former Catholics who spend the rest of theirs years preaching against the Faith to ‘sacred groups’ that do not greet anyone by hand thinking all others profane, and do not take their sick to Hospitals lest God ‘doubts’ their faith in Him!

Ecumenism (Ecumenical)

Ecumenical initiative to facilitate dialogue and healthy co-existence with other Christian communities is an ongoing programme, for an all inclusive proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Church Endeavours to work along the following lines:

i. Doctrinal

(Who are we, Ecumenical (Anglican), interreligious, special events)

ii. Institutional