The eight-chapter 216-page book is relevant to both students who can use it for reference and to Christians in Africa who are seeking to understand their role in the running of States, Fr. Nyenyembe said during the July 1 book launch that was aired live on Capuchin TV.
The Priest who is at the helm of the African Ecclesial Review (AFER), a publication of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), said in writing the book, he drew inspiration from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2011 Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Africa Munus”.
“The exhortation talks about good governance. It emphasizes to people how to perceive this new era of Pentecost in Africa. Ten years down the line as we celebrate ‘Africa Munus’, I felt that not much has been done to fulfill what is in the exhortations,” said Fr Nyenyembe.
He added, “There is still a lot we can do in bringing lay people into the service of God and drawing a balance between the same and State affairs.”
Politics in most African countries have been viewed as “a dirty game” because there has never been direct good working relationships between the Church, which the Priest describes in the book as “a portion of the society”, and many governments.
“Most times we have been made to believe that politics is a dirty game. If at all, politics is dirty, why then was it described as a noble vocation in Vatican II. We should all look at politics as a calling that helps us build the Kingdom of God,” Fr Nyenyembe said, making reference to deliberations at the Second Vatican Council.
His new book, he went on to say, refers to many ancient African leaders who first encountered with Christianity by welcoming missionaries and this, he said, is seen to inspire the good relationship between the Church and State on the continent.
Asked about the uniqueness of the book in relation to other publications on the Church and State, the Tanzanian-born Priest who has ministered in Kenya since 2013 said, “I wrote this book from an academic formation and a theological perspective. It is a fusion of the two, which gives a good Christian explanation on how the Church should be involved in the affairs of states.”
Also speaking during the July 1 launch in reference to the new book, AMECEA Communications Coordinator, Fr. Andrew Kaufa remarked, “The Church and State might always look like they are brushing shoulders when they fail to agree on certain terms. As the book suggests, this ‘misunderstanding’ is normally for the common good of everybody.”