The Archdiocese of Mombasa is situated along the Coast Province of Kenya.
The Archdiocese is a metropolitan with Garissa and Malindi diocese as suffragans. The Archdiocese, formerly part of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, was established as an independent entity in May 1955.
Area: 38,000 square kilometers
Population: Approximately 3,325,307 million.
Number of Catholics: 500,000 in 57 parishes and 220 outposts (outstations).
Christians: Other than Catholics approximately 250,000 mainly Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, African Inland Church. A sizeable number are members of the Pentecostal/Gospel Churches mainly Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, African Inland Church. A sizeable number are members of the Pentecostal/Gospel Churches.
Other faiths: about 1 million are Muslim, mainly Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiya. Small communities of Hindus, Sikhs and Parsees are part of the Asia population. Members of the African Traditional Religion are also found in the archdiocese.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa extends from the Coast to a distance of 300 kms to the mainland Kenya. It bonders with the diocese of Malindi, Kitui and Machakos in the East, Tanga and Moshi on the North and West while in the South there is the Indian Ocean. Apart from the coastal part the rest of the Archdiocese is semi-arid. Often some of our missions are on the receiving end of relief food at extreme prolonged drought weather conditions. This poses a great challenge in our pastoral work.
The Interreligious Dialogue Commission
In carrying out its evangelization mandate to the coastal communities of Kenya and being conscious of the multi-cultural and multi-religious nature of its inhabitants, the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa (CAM) has to ensure that all people benefit from its pastoral and social services, having the highest esteem to their human dignity and always with a deliberate option for the most vulnerable of all religions. The Archdiocese is working in a multi-religious environment, where there is coexistence between Anglican, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, African Traditional Religions and many more.
It is with this environment in mind that the need for a specific commission to look at unity among the diverse religions arouse in CAM hence the creation of IRD Commission.
The setting up of IRD Commission was done in 2017 with the support of the German Association for Development Cooperation (AGEH) though the preparations towards the realisation of the commission started in 2016.
CAM’s Strategic Plan 2018-2017 has clearly spelt out the mandate and responsibility of IRD Commission. The Commission therefore carries out its activities in line with the plan in order to achieve the overall goal of CAM as well as IRD Commission’s goal which has been streamlined with Archdiocesan plan.
In the last two years, IRD commission has undertaken ecumenical and interreligious initiatives aimed at creating more awareness of the importance of ecumenical dialogue among staff of the Archdiocese, the Catholic youth groups, Catholic Clerics and Catholic lay leaders.
Since the establishment of IRD Commission there is a general awareness of its existence and initiatives of collaborations between the Commission and some of the commissions like Caritas, Pastoral, Education and Justice and Peace in order to plan and carry out joint activities. In addition, the Commission has also developed a successful collaborations with Imams and authority of other religions to train the Christian faithful about their religion.
Through IRD Commission, the Archdiocese of Mombasa has helped to bring bishops and senior pastors to an ecumenical forum through Mombasa Church Forum (MCF) for regular meetings, and successfully undertaken annual ecumenical prayer day, Christmas Carols and Christmas tree event together with the Mombasa County leaders. In addition, MCF has called upon the County Government as well as National Government from time to time to deliver quality and better services to the coastal people.