June 16, 2024

Never Regulate Church Over Shakahola Massacre, Clergy Tells Government 

A section of Pentecostal Bishops Presenting their Views before the Mungatana Committee. (Photo / The COAST

By The COAST Reporter

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Different Christian denominations want the Shakahola tragedy be treated as isolated case and not be the basis of instituting control on clergies or churches.

Appearing before the Adhoc Committee on Proliferation of Religious Organisation in Kenya, the Evangelical Association of Kenya, the Kenya Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the National Council of Christian Churches were categorical that they should be left to chart their own course. 

While condemning the Paul Mackenzie case, the respective presenters expressed concerned how an individual could be left to use Christian religion to cause deaths to more than 240 followers.

They proposed to the Committee to avoid the temptation to muzzle freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution.

They insisted that Pastor Mackenzie should be treated as an isolated case and punished as an individual without using him as the basis of creating stringent measures.

They blamed the government’s security system for failing to act appropriately when the alarm was raised and reported to them.

The churches said that they preferred self-regulation of the religious organisations rather than government regulation. 

The Committee chairman Senator Danson Mungatana sought to find out the exact format of the self-regulation they were talking about.

Senator Shakila, the vice chair, said that some churches were preaching harmful doctrine.

Her counterpart, Senator Cheptumo asked if the churches would support the registration of only theologically qualified persons to start churches.  

Others who participated virtually were Senators Mutinda, Mohammed Faki, Eddy Gicheru Oketch, and Hamida Ali Kibwana.

The hearing continues.

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