World War 2 Italian Church

The Mai Mahiu Catholic Church popularly referred as the ‘Travellers Chapel’ is the smallest church in the country and among the smallest in the world.

It also goes by the nickname ‘Msikiti’, which is Swahili for mosque, because it looks like one.

‘Measuring 15 by 8 feet, it has a capacity to sit 12 people during mass. The church is only just slightly bigger than Our Lady of the Pines in the United States which measures 12 by 12 feet and is regarded as the smallest church in the world. Mai Mahiu Catholic Church is a favourite among truck drivers on transit from Mombasa to the landlocked central African countries.

Mai Mahiu Catholic Church was built in 1942 by Italian Prisoners Of War (POW) under the strict supervision of British colonialists. History records that during the Second World War, British and Imperial forces captured more than half a million Italian soldiers, sailors and airmen. Although a symbol of military success, these prisoners created numerous problems for the captors throughout the war.

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