The Role of the African Traditional Religion in thePromotion of Justice, Reconciliation and Peace in Africa in the Twenty-first Century: A Kenyan Experience

Dickson Nkonge Kagema
Department of Arts and Humanities, Chuka University, Kenya
Abstract
Although Africa is today a home to many religious organizations and many people have viewed this as a positive development in the continent, the situation is otherwise different. The entire continent is bleeding from the pain of tribal animosity, ethnic tension, hatred, violence, poverty, political instability, injustices etc.Religions are basically meant to help people in their tribulations but religious pluralism in Africa has brought conflict, tension and confusion in families and communities. Religions in Africa have also not been able bring forth justice, reconciliation and peace in Africa. This has however not always been the case. Prior to the coming of new religions and foreign cultures in Africa, human life was relatively stable with the African Traditional Religion (ATR) greatly influencing the lives of the people where it gave meaning and purpose to all aspects of thought and action. Africans were notoriously religious andthis religiosity helped create an atmosphere wherejustice, reconciliation and peace prevailed at all costs. Drawing examples from various communities in Kenya, this paper shows that ATR is still alive in Africa where it continues to influence all aspects of life whether social, economic, religious or political and is responsible for shaping the character and culture of the Africans to date. The paper suggests that rather than regarding African religion and culture as primitive or old fashioned, they should be employed in the promotion of justice, reconciliation and peace in the troubled African continent. ATR being a living religion in Africa cannot be ignored as Africa struggles with challenges facing it today.
Keywords: Africa, Kenyan Experience, African Traditional Religion, Justice, Reconciliation and Peace.

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