INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIANS’ SPIRITUALITY ON FOSTERING COHESION AMONG ETHNIC COMMUNITIES IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA
KIPKOROS, WILLIAM CHESAINA
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Christians’ spirituality (CS) usually plays a key role in the development and practice of shared values, equal opportunities based on trust, hope, good relations and reciprocity among communities. However, Christians’ spirituality seems not to have achieved these objectives in Kenya and Nakuru County in particular. This is evident in the lack of cohesion and frequency of conflicts among ethnic communities since 1992. This study investigated the influence of Christians’ spirituality on fostering cohesion among ethnic communities in Nakuru County of Kenya. The study was guided by Burton’s Human Needs Theory (HNT) and Lawrence’s self- in-God (SIG) model. It adopted the descriptive research design and involved the Africa Inland Church (AIC), Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) and Africa Gospel Church (AGC) Congregations. A sample of 334 believers and 120 members of the clergy selected using purposive, stratified, proportionate and simple random sampling techniques participated in the study. Two instruments namely: the clergy’s (CQ) and believers’ (BQ) questionnaires were used to collect data. The content and face validity of the two instruments were examined by experts and their suggestions used to improve the tools before they were used to gather data. The reliability of BQ was estimated using the Cronbach Alpha method and it yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.96. The collected data was analyzed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Data was described and summarized using frequency tables and percentages. The Pearson and Spearman’s correlations was used to establish the influence of CS on fostering cohesion among communities while multiple regression was used to determine the effects of the independent variables on the dependent variable. The study revealed that believers’ spiritual transformation, maturity and level of tolerance to the wider community of faith influence the fostering of cohesion among ethnic communities, however, the professional training of the clergy is insignificant. The findings also revealed that believers’ spiritual transformation, maturity and exposure to the wider community of faith are significant predictors of cohesion among communities. Whereas believers’ spiritual transformation, spiritual maturity and exposure to the wider community of faith influence fostering of cohesion among ethnic communities, the professional training of the clergy was insignificant. It was also concluded that explanatory variables were effective predictors of fostering cohesion among ethnic communities. As such, the study recommended that spiritual rebirth, spiritual maturity and the unity of all believers’ foster cohesion among ethnic communities. However, regarding the training of the clergy, theological seminaries should design curricula with duo-approach or the praxis of holding together sound doctrine and contextually relevant ministry skills.