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J. Kanuku: Address to International Leadership Conference 2018

Address to International Leadership Conference 2018, Seoul, Korea, February 18-22, 2018

Your Excellencies, Lordships and Gentlemen, good afternoon! 

Greetings from Kenya and Africa. In my service as a bishop, I noticed a lot of hatred among persons, tribes, clans, exhibiting nepotism and family issues among others. The question is, why all these? The answer should be lack of love and peace among people and selfish desires.

I represented the Archbishop of Kenya at a conference held in the United States, the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), where I met the founders of this movement, Father and Mother Moon. Listening keenly to them, I was able to learn their philosophy from the following statements: “Living for the sake of others; building bridges of peace; education for life; education for character; the family is the school of love; leading and living by example; respect for all” and many more. As the statements caught my mind, I read more about them and started to apply them in my sermons.

These phrases are critical to religious life and building morals Peace starts in the inner-person and can be seen practically in the other person. The spiritual person is the inner one. If the inner person is properly connected to Almighty God, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is seen in that person: love, joy, peace, forgiveness, endurance, integrity and many more values. Such a person is at peace within himself. This is because his body and spirit are controlled by the spirit of God.

Owing the above fact, it is the work of religious leaders to enable, lead and encourage humanity to make sure that the spiritual part of a person is properly connected to the Almighty God, who is a God of love and peace. Then God himself will control that person`s thoughts, words, actions, virtues, habits and finally that person`s character, which should be a character with good moral values.

This kind of spiritual education for our children should start at an early age and come from parents, religious leaders and schoolteachers. Because the family is the school of love, it is where we learn how to love God, brothers and sisters, and parents, as well as how to share things: In other words, how to love and be loved. The Bible is very clear about this, such as in Proverbs 22:6 and Deuteronomy 6:6. I hope it is the same in the other Holy books.

From these teachings a child will learn that God creates us for a purpose: to serve him through the generations, to live for the sake of others—just like David, who lived to serve God`s purpose in his generation. Acts 13:36 is another good reference. Everybody has to know that God created us and gave us gifts in order to serve other people. The gifts are not for selfish gain but to promote love and peace through charity works. With this kind of knowledge we can build lasting peace through living for the sake of others no matter the race, tribe or clan. 

Professor John S. Mbiti in his book on philosophy says, “I am because you are.” This is the same as you are because I am. My life is your life and your life is my life. Nothing can separate us. What you have is mine and what is mine is yours. There should be no selfish desire. We complement each other. 

I feel strongly that it is the work of religious leaders to lead people to know this: We need each other. Politicians, culture should not separate us. Our God is a God of love and peace.

Religious leaders should show the way loving each other, working together in the areas of commonality showing forgiveness and reconciliation in families, solving problems in a win-win situation, accepting unity in diversity and so on. It is my thinking that peace and love will prevail in the inner person, individual, families, tribes, clans and nations and will bring reconciliation between humanity and nature.

I hope this can be a way of building world of lasting peace: through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.



To go to the International Leadership Conference Schedule 2018, click here.