Mbijiwe Mwenda is a voice crying in the wilderness—from the other side of
The Kenyan pastor, founder of Glory Cathedral Church in Nairobi, does not
have a voice on CNN or Fox News. But he has been warning Christians during a
recent visit to the United States that more is at stake in the 2008 election
than anyone supposed.
“Many Americans do not seem to realize the price that has been paid for
your freedom,” Mwenda says. “I am afraid we are about to lose the America we
have known in the past—the America that has been a hope for the world.”
|“Democratic presidential challenger Barack Obama has a cozy relationship with
Raila Odinga, an avowed Marxist politician who now serves as Kenya’s prime
Mwenda’s main concern: That Democratic presidential challenger Barack Obama
has a cozy relationship with Raila Odinga, an avowed Marxist politician who now
serves as Kenya’s prime minister. Obama, who made taxpayer-funded visits to
Kenya in 2004, 2005 and 2006, campaigned for Odinga in 2006.
During public appearances in Kenya, Odinga introduced Obama as his cousin.
But later a family member denied that claim, saying that Odinga and Obama’s
father, Barack Obama Sr., simply came from the same village. Both Obama Sr. and
Odinga are from the Luo tribe, Kenya’s third largest.
When Odinga ran for president of Kenya last year and lost by a slim margin,
tribal violence erupted amid claims of voter fraud. About 1,500 people died
(many were killed in machete attacks), hundreds of churches were burned and
600,000 villagers were displaced. The international community had to broker a
peace deal, allowing Odinga to serve as prime minister while his opponent, Mwai
Kibaki, was named president.
Today, Odinga hopes that Obama will win the White House on Nov. 4 to boost
support for his bid to become president of Kenya in 2012.
Pastor Mwenda says he is amazed that Americans don’t seem concerned that
Obama is tied to Odinga. He rattled off a list of facts that Charisma has
· Odinga was trained in communist ideology in Europe
and holds Marxist views. “He even named his son Fidel Castro,” Mwenda says.
· He has obvious ties to Muslim interests and even
received funding for his presidential campaign from Libya. Although he
officially claims to be an Anglican, Mwenda says, “[Odinga] has been very
sympathetic to Muslims and some say he is a Muslim secretly.”
· Odinga fits in nicely with Arab leaders’ plans for
Africa. When they convened in Nigeria in 2001, they released a statement
indicating that Kenya is to play a key role in spreading Islam throughout
southern Africa. Says Mwenda: “Odinga is a dangerous man. A dictator.”
· Odinga has promised to enact Sharia law in “Muslim
declared regions” of Kenya—meaning that pork would be outlawed, women could not
drive and crimes would be punished according to Islamic tradition.
So why did Obama campaign for Odinga? Independent journalists around the
world have been asking that question since 2006. Paula Abeles of African Press
International wrote in August: “Clearly Obama campaigned for someone who is
corrupt, ruthless and has financial ties to terrorists. … Senator Obama’s
actions—intentional or not—were in direct conflict with the efforts and
interests of U.S. national security.”
Many Kenyans are proud that a son of Kenya has a shot at the White House.
But Kenya’s evangelical Christians are less enthusiastic. Like Mwenda, many of
them are also troubled that Obama’s paternal grandmother has publicly stated
that she sacrifices chickens and pours libations daily when praying for Obama to
win the election. “She has been doing this since the [Democratic] primaries,”
“Something is about to go wrong in your country,” Mwenda warned me.
I know many people who read my column will assume I am only writing it to
boost John McCain’s chances at the polls next week. Some of my critics have also
assumed that I must have racist tendencies if I am not voting for Barack Obama.
They can assume what they want, but the truth is that I have made eight
trips to Africa in the last seven years and it is my second home. I will return
there in early 2009. If my situation allowed it I would move there permanently—I
love the people, the culture and what the Holy Spirit is doing all over that
This week I did my own informal poll of African church leaders in Nigeria
and Kenya. What I found was that none of them support Obama. Like many American
Christians, they are staunchly pro-life, they defend traditional marriage and
they certainly do not support politicians who don’t take the threat of militant
They have seen enough torched churches and amputated arms to know better.
They have seen Christian children thrown into the bottom of wells to die. They
have seen Shariah law cast a dark pall over whole regions. They have watched as
Middle Eastern governments pour millions of dollars into their local economies
to build mosques and infrastructure and to buy votes.
I asked Pastor Mwenda how American Christians should pray in light of this
sobering information. He told me: “I am praying that Obama does not win the
White House. It is never too late for God. We can turn the tide. We need to
pray: ‘Our Father, Who art in heaven, Thy will be done on earth as it is in
heaven.’ We must not allow anything in this nation that is not in His
J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma
. Many people responded to his
column last week, and to the column by Kimberly Daniels that he attached to his
message. Daniels wrote a response to all who replied to her message. To read “A
Response to the Critics,” click here.