Mombasa County wants local Methodist church declared first in EA in new UNESCO survey

United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization[UNESCO] programme officer, John Okande[left] chats with Mombasa County executive in charge of Youth,gender,sports and culture, Dr. Munywoki Kyalo during the launch of UNESCO memory of the world and documentary heritage programme in Kenya.  [Photo: Omondi Onyango/Standard]

An executive in the Mombasa County Government wants history books re-written to include new information on the Church’s history and early education in the Coast.

Sports, Youth and Culture Executive Munywoki Kyalo (right) said latest reports indicated that a Methodist church built in Jomvu in 1876 was the first church in East Africa.

But according to history books, St Paul’s Anglican Church of Kenya in Rabai is listed as the oldest church in the region.

Dr Kyalo said the county would use the launch of the Memory of the World (MoW) project, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) last week, to push for the “correction of the history of Christianity”.

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Unesco and the National Museum of Kenya (NMK) launched the programme at the Swahili Cultural Centre to identify and document cultural heritage resources that could soon disappear.

NMK Assistant Director in charge of Coast region Athman Hussein said cultural heritage resources faced threats from war, immigration, natural calamities and other factors.

“In Mombasa we have literature dating back to the 13th century and it is slowly disappearing. We have a title deed written in Arabic at the Wakf Commission of Kenya dating back to the 17th century that we need to identify, document and preserve,” said Mr Athman.

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Mombasa CountyMunywoki KyaloUnescoSt Paul’s Anglican