Kenya Bishop Stands By Priest in Dispute

NAIROBI, Kenya, JULY 4, 2001 ( Bishop Cornelius Korir of the Eldoret Diocese has declared that he will stand by a priest who is being threatened by a Cabinet minister.

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Father Michael Rop of the Mokwo parish has been harassed by supporters of the government minister and given seven days to leave the area, according to the Catholic Information Service for Africa.

The ruling KANU party accuses Father Rop of openly sympathizing with opposition parties.

Recently the government allowed supporters of the Cabinet minister to hold a public rally against Father Rop, CISA reported.

When Church officials applied to hold a similar event against the aide last Sunday, they were denied a permit. Police blocked approaches to the Mokwo church that morning.

Bishop Korir arrived the previous evening at Mokwo. He presided over the Sunday Mass. The Daily Nation reported him as saying, «I do not fear anybody. I was sent here by the Pope to serve local people and I will not allow them to be disturbed.»

Anglican Bishop Thomas Kogo of Eldoret has pledged his support for Bishop Korir.

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