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In Kenya, texting the resurrection on mobile phones

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI) Christians in Kenya over the Easter

weekend exchanged thousands of text messages on mobile phones, announcing

the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday and marking his crucifixion on

Good Friday.

“Love is strong as death. He rose again and gave us eternal breath,” said

one text received by a reporter on April 24, Easter Sunday. On Good Friday,

one text read, “If you have Jesus’ number, call and tell him not to go

Jerusalem. There are people who want to crucify him. I do not have airtime

to call him now.”

“The frequency of the messages sent out has been very high. Looking at the

usage, it is clear the phones have become central to people’s lives,” the Rev.

Maloba Wesoga, a Roman Catholic priest in the Nairobi Archdiocese, told

ENInews on April 25.

 

The phones are revolutionizing Africa, where nearly 500 million people are

subscribers, according to telecom groups. Many Christians use them to

exchange Bible verses, share sermons and access popular preachers. They can

also send monetary offerings through mobile money transfer services.

This Easter, Christians used the phones creatively and imaginatively,

observed Dave Buchere, a Kenyan government public relations officer who also

serves as secretary of men’s fellowship in a local Pentecostal church. “The

phones are now part of ordinary people’s lives,” he said in a mobile phone

interview with ENInews.

Some Christians here said they received nearly 150 texts over Easter, in a

country where nearly 20 million people (out of a population of 40 million)

are mobile phone subscribers. “We are in the technological age and the

gadgets have wide usage among Christians. Their operation is also simple

compared to computers, which few people have access to,” added Wesoga.

Salome Gathoni, a Christian communications expert, said Christians are able

to access useful services including songs and gospel ringtones. “They

shorten distances and are affordable. It is not a surprise they were used to

announce the crucifixion and resurrection,” said Gathoni.

Many church leaders encourage creative use of the phones, saying they are a

blessing to the church and a good tool for evangelizing.

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