Tonny Onyulo

Tonny Onyulo is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Tonny Onyulo

Pentecostal pastors vow to fight proposed Uganda church regulations in court

April 30, 2019

KAMPALA, Uganda (RNS) — Pentecostal pastors in Uganda vow to fight new rules that would require clergy to have formal theological education and would force all churches to register or close down. The proposed policy mimics similar rules enacted in Rwanda in 2018.

Rastafarianism, promising freedom, spreads among African youth

April 17, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — A faith that originated in the Caribbean islands has drawn many adherents through its social justice and anti-colonialist messages.

Kenyan United Methodists oppose allowing LGBT clergy, pray for church unity worldwide

February 18, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — United Methodist bishops in Africa want to keep the denomination’s ban of LGBT clergy in place. But they also want the United Methodist Church to stay together no matter what happens at the upcoming General Conference in St. Louis. Delegates at that meeting will discuss possible changes to the denomination’s rules.

Conflict between brothers splits Uganda’s thriving Abayudaya Jewish community

January 31, 2019

MBALE, Uganda (RNS) — A conflict between two brothers over money and religious practice is splitting Uganda’s century-old Abayudaya Jewish community.

Christian workers in Somalia worship in secret, fear al-Shabab

January 7, 2019

MOGADISHU, Somalia (RNS) — Hundreds of Christians in Somalia, mostly foreigners from nearby countries, worship in secret out of fear of Muslim extremists.

Pushed by politicians, polygamy enjoys a heyday among Christians in Kenya

January 4, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Despite opposition from local Catholic church leaders, young and old men have taken advantage of a 4-year-old law liberalizing the practice.

In Kenya, Pentecostal Christian moms tell husbands that girls are as good as boys

November 16, 2018

BUNGOMA, Kenya (RNS) — Traditional culture here demands that women bear sons, but religious leaders say it’s time for people to see that in God’s eyes, both genders have equal worth.

‘Acknowledging reality,’ a splinter church in Kenya ordains married Catholic priests

October 16, 2018

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Attracted by the prospect of serving God while raising a family, Catholic priests have left the mainstream faith for the Renewed Universal Catholic Church.

In Kenya, locals debate a boom in witch doctor tourism

October 10, 2018

MOMBASA, Kenya (RNS) — Tourists normally come for snorkeling and lounging on sun-splashed beaches, but lately many come to seek the counsel of witch doctors about illnesses, runs of bad luck or bad marriages.

LBGT refugees say they face hostility, violence in Kenyan camp

September 20, 2018

KAKUMA REFUGEE CAMP, Kenya (RNS) – Many of their fellow refugees reportedly believe that homosexuality is wrong and gays must be punished.

Kenyan religious leaders fight to rescue young girls from child marriage

September 11, 2018

SAMBURU, Kenya (RNS) — Beading is a form of sexual enslavement that lets older men engage in intercourse with young girls, even when they do not intend to marry them.

Banned from meeting in church, Rwandan worshippers gather at home

September 6, 2018

KIGALI, Rwanda (RNS) — An estimated 8,000 churches and 100 mosques have been closed in what some say is a human rights violation, but which the government defends as a move to require clergy to meet modest standards for education.

Kenya’s Legio Maria sprouts believers in the shadow of the Catholic Church

August 22, 2018

KISUMU, Kenya (RNS) – The group is often mistaken as being Catholic because it celebrates the main elements of the traditional Latin Mass. But its beliefs are anything but.

Vigilante killings in Tanzania spur a hunt for witch-hunters

August 9, 2018

(RNS) — The dark side of the country’s widespread belief in witchcraft is that people are quick to blame supposed conjurers — mostly older women —for their misfortunes.

At world’s largest refugee camp, trauma victims seek healing in God

August 8, 2018

BIDI BIDI REFUGEE CAMP, Uganda (RNS) – ‘The church gives them new hope, which is important to refugees and any person who has experienced trauma,’ says a counselor.

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