Halal finds a footing in Kenya, and not only among Muslims

RNS photo by Fredrick Nzwili

Pronto Restaurant in central Nairobi, Kenya, serves halal foods on April 24, 2017.

NAIROBI, Kenya — In a country where 82 percent are Christian, halal, the dietary standard in Islamic law, is finding greater acceptance.

Kenya is now home to a modest 100 halal-compliant food industry businesses, offering Muslims a choice of offerings and convenience, but that market may be growing.

In addition to the country’s estimated 4 million Muslims (out of 42 million), halal is finding favor among Christians as well.

“When I eat here, I also promote religious tolerance,” said Lynn Wambui, a 22-year-old Christian, who ate at Pronto, a restaurant specializing in halal foods. “The food is also tasty.”

Halal, which means “lawful” or “permitted” in Arabic, requires that meat such as beef, lamb, goat and poultry be raised and killed humanely and that a blessing be said at the time of slaughter. Nonhalal foods include carnivorous animals and birds of prey, as well as pork and products derived from pork such as gelatin. Fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are permitted.

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