The Intertwined Saga of Politics and Religion

The Intertwined Saga of Politics and Religion


Politics and religion share a profound history, with their intertwining narratives leaving an indelible mark on societies worldwide. But before we delve in much, in this article, my perspective may occasionally lean towards Christianity, being an individual born and raised in the Africa Inland Church. Nonetheless, I have also fostered relationships with individuals from diverse religious backgrounds, including atheists, and encountered a spectrum of beliefs and practices.

Additionally, I have worked with the Program for Christian and Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), learning a lot about religious tolerance. Therefore, While my exposure to other religions is limited, I hope to foster religious tolerance as we explore this subject together.

Biblical Perspective

Throughout history, religious leaders and rulers often worked in tandem, consolidating their influence and authority. The biblical accounts of anointing kings, like David, exemplify the perceived divine involvement in appointing earthly leaders. However, such arrangements were not exclusive to Christianity; traditional African societies also saw religious figures assuming roles in governance.

The Intersection of Religion and Politics in Modern Kenya

Fast-forward to contemporary Kenya, where religion and spirituality play a significant role in shaping the nation\’s political landscape. Political campaigns frequently embrace religious platforms, emphasizing holiness and divine favor. Leaders engage in church services, make large offerings, and even accuse opponents of witchcraft. However, these practices raise pertinent questions about the nature of leadership and divine selection.

\’Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics, do not know what religion is\’

-Mahatma Gandhi

The Provocative Question of Divine Appointment

Does every leadership emerge through divine selection? The belief that all authority originates from a higher power is prevalent, but this raises intriguing queries. It reminds me of Mufasa the Poet. We were in a certain forum and he recited a poem where one of the lines I haven\’t forgotten asked \’If all leaders are chosen by God, then why don\’t the election day be called God\’s day?- insightful words challenging conventional thinking.

Spiritual Leaders\’ Insight into Political Figures

The relationship between spiritual leaders and political figures is intricate. Towards the 2022 general election, I attended a political gathering at a certain politicians home. Then there came the time for spiritual leaders to bless him. He knelt as they surrounded him each placing a hand on his head while holding a bible with the other, dressed in altar robes. One started praying, \’… Father, thank you for our leader… He is a good man, he has never stolen from anyone, father, bless him…\’ This raises question about how much truth is conveyed during such prayers and whether spiritual leaders perceive political figures through a spiritual lens, akin to how the apostles saw Ananias and Sapphira.

Accepting God\’s Will: Reflections on Unforeseen Outcomes

Election results often defy expectations, raising questions about accepting God\’s will. When a spiritual leader publicly aligns themselves with the \”winning\” team, but the results prove otherwise, how do they reconcile this with their understanding of divine guidance?- Like it happened in the 2022 general election.

The Delicate Balance of Prayer and Power

Recently, in a high-level gathering, part of the protocol procedures was that the chaplain was required to present the prayer he intended to offer during the occasion for approval. He lightheartedly told us about this incident, to show us how serious a state function is taken. However, the situation sparked my curiosity. How much trust does the state place in religious representatives to convey their sentiments through prayer? Moreover, the notion that a protocol officer, in a black suit, carrying a walkie talkie and wearing goggles, could approve or disapprove a prayer raises ethical questions about the role of human intermediaries in divine matters. It prompts us to contemplate what God\’s role should be in such situations and how we can ensure respect and authenticity in matters of faith and governance.

The Intriguing World of Witchcraft and Politics

Intriguingly, some politicians resort to traditional African spirituality, engaging in rituals, seeking healers\’ guidance, and even resorting to bewitching opponents. A story is told of how a certain MCA aspirant\’s motorbike split into two as he was riding on it during campaigns. Although it was a old Honda model and he survived, people believe a spell had been cast on him because how could a motorcycle break vertically into two through the engine as if it was cut using a razorblade?

Religion and Activism: The Clergy\’s Divergent Roles

Historically, clergy members have taken diverse positions on political affairs, echoing the days of Rev. Timothy Njoya and Ndingi Mwana Wa Nzeki. Contemporary examples reveal the clergy\’s involvement in calls for the repeal of certain acts and calling for dialogue between political leaders thus sparking debates about the alignment of religious beliefs with political activism. Is that what God wants?

Spiritual Leaders as Political Candidates

Exploring the case of a clergyman running for the presidency in the previous election, we look into the challenges and implications of spiritual leaders seeking public office. Can men of cloth exemplify a holy government through elected roles?


As we navigate the intricate relationship between politics and religion, it becomes evident that the subject merits ongoing examination and respectful dialogue. Recognizing the diverse beliefs and experiences that shape our understanding, let us continue to promote religious tolerance and seek common ground in pursuit of a more harmonious and just society.

By Boniface Muema Harrison

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