Why are Kenyan churches and mosques being painted yellow?

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SHAFAQNA – Churches and mosques in Nairobi are being painted a vibrant shade of yellow to demonstrate a “shared humanity” and highlight that there is more that unites people of different faiths than divides them.

The ‘Colour in Faith‘ initiative was launched in 2015 by Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda, who wanted to find a way to cross “language, religion, ethnicity and politics”, which so often cause sectarian divides.

“The goal was to take houses of worship in Kenya and paint them yellow in the name of love,” he told the Guardian. “The idea from the beginning was to turn buildings into sculptures that speak to our shared humanity.”

So far more than 20 houses of worship have signed up, and three have already been painted – a mosque, a church and a Hindu temple.

Arboleda says the act of painting the buildings has brought different communities together. “To see people smile and talk to each other is beautiful”.

Cultural curator of the Colour in Faith project, Nabila Alibhai, told Up Nairobi that “the idea of having a constellation of yellow mosques, churches, temples and synagogues across the city sending a message of pluralism to the world through YELLOW is magnificent”.

“Public installations like Colour in Faith are powerful because they activate the imagination of many and they call on us to collectively and deliberately create an expression of a world order that is better than the existing one,” Alibhai said.

“We hope that this initiative will spread across the country and the world to express love of plurality and expression of faith in its best possible sense…Colour in faith: .”

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