Pope Francis in Kenya: Pontiff describes land grabbing as “sin against God”

Pope Francis visits Kasarani
Pope Francis visits Kasarani

Today, Pope Francis has been visiting Kangemi and Kasarani Stadium, during which he condemned ‘faceless private developers’ saying he is aware that they “even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your children’s schools”.

Making the point that God provided the earth for the sustenance of all humans, without exclusion or favouritism, during a Mass at St John the Worker Catholic Church in Kangemi.

“These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth. The minorities selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries. We see the unjust distribution of land (if not in this neighbourhood, certainly in others) which leads in many cases to entire families having to pay excessive and unfair rents for utterly unfit housing.” – Pope Francis

The Pope said other effects of land grabbing included the lack of access to infrastructure and basic services such as schools, roads, hospitals and workshops for artists and craftsmen.

He also condemned the lack of electricity, toilets, recreational and sport centres, sewers, drains, studios and refuse collection services.

He went on to say that to deny a family water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, “is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need”.

“I ask God that the authorities may embark, together with you, upon the path of social inclusion, education, sport, community action, and the protection of families, for this is the only guarantee of peace. This situation of indifference by poor neighbourhoods is aggravated when violence spreads and criminal organizations, serving economic or political interests, use children and young people as “canon fodder” for their ruthless business affairs.” – Pope Francis

The Pope proposed renewed attention to urban integration, as opposed to elimination, paternalism, indifference or mere containment, saying solid initiatives must be implemented, as opposed to the mere “proclamation of rights”.

The Pontiff also challenged Christians, and particularly pastors, “to renew their missionary zeal” and respond to injustice by helping others with their porblems and protecting all the yields of societal efforts.


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