December 16 at 14:30 at the second Winter Orthodox exhibition at the Exhibition Center of the North-West of Russia the priest, Philip Gatari from Kenya, will conduct a prayer service in Swahili, which will be the beginning of the program devoted to the Orthodox Church in this East African country.
Father Philip Gatari is priest of the church of St. Anthony in the village Ishamara in the area Nieri in Central Kenya. He is also a director of a rural school, located near the temple. The Nieri area consists of 14 Orthodox priests where nearly every village has its church.
In total, Kenya has hundreds of Orthodox churches. The number of Orthodox believers is close to a million, with almost one thirtieth of all Kenyans professing Orthodoxy. Experts note that Orthodoxy is the most rapidly growing religion in Kenya, saying that it is the new Christianity in Africa. In the villages mass baptisms are not a rare case – sometimes 50-70 people. In the minds of the Kenyan people Orthodoxy is not, in contrast to other Christian denominations, associated with the colonialists.
Father Philip will talk about how to live a rural parish in the African country, as he served in the temple as a priest after the service communicates with the congregation, the parishioners stand with prepared speeches. Interestingly, observing Orthodox canons, Kenyans praise God in their own way in the church after the service sound drums, with the priest and congregation sing, and dance. The African Orthodox Church has its own characteristics, which take into account the mentality of Kenyans, their traditions and national character.
Guests who came to the meeting, more vividly imagine the life of African Christians will exhibit prepared by the organizers of the substantive.