Malindi Catholic Bishop Willybard Lagho has brought together religious leaders from Islamic religion to preach peaceful coexistence and address the social problems affecting the people in Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu counties.
The clergy, who is the immediate former Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) chairman, said some of the problems affecting the people can be addressed through working with both the political and religious leaders.
Speaking during an Iftar meal to break the Ramadan fast at his Malindi residence, where he invited the Muslim leaders, he said religious leaders through the CICC, shall also bring on board the traditional African religious leaders such as the Kaya elders, to help address some of the problems such as early marriages, teenage pregnancies, killing of elderly people among others.
"Some of these challenges are deeply rooted in our society and we need to bring together all leaders including the traditional religious leaders to address some of these problems," he said.
The bishop together with the Muslim leaders led by Sheikh Aboud Bazmaleh, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) Kilifi County chairman, also deliberated some of the issues affecting the society such as corruption, rise in number of street families, and drug and substances abuse.
Other issues they agreed required attention was parental negligence, youth unemployment, idleness, child labour, land ownership disputes, informal settlements, killing of elderly, tribal clashes, and boundary disputes.
Sheikh Bazmaleh said the invitation for an iftar during the Holy month of Ramadan is an indication of a sign that the Muslim and Christian leaders have a strong religious bond.
He pledged to work with Bishop Lagho to address some of the social challenges affecting the society.
"We shall forge a common stand on issues affecting all of us irrespective of religion, tribe and race,” he added.
Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu counties are faced with myriads of problems including fight for resources between pastoralists and crop farmers and Al Shabaab terror attacks which have threatened the peaceful coexistence between the Christian and Muslims.