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North Rift religious leaders push for vetting of churches

Religious leaders drawn from National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and Supkem have pushed for the vetting of those who preach in learning institutions to protect learners.

The members of clergy from North Rift also petitioned the State to take firm action against the rogue leaders that violate human rights.

The leaders maintained there is a need to regulate practices in religious institutions and not beliefs in Kenya to protect citizens against cults.

“There is no law that can regulate we practice our faith, we should have legislation to regulate how one practices their faith… because some of the ways some practice their religion is against human rights and laws of land because there is killing, human sacrifice or organ harvesting,” stated Reverend Joseph Barasa from NCCK.

He noted that what dictates a church is about how they give sacrament, upholds the church discipline and teaches the word of God ‘the other is called cult because it doesn’t uphold all these.’

“We have proposed that only those religious leaders who have gone through a theology school should be allowed to teach or preach. Before a religious leader is allowed to teach in a pulpit, he or she must prove that he or she understands what they teach,” said Rev Barasa.

The leaders backed the creation of a committee to review the status of religious institutions in the country even as they asked the team to move to the grass-root level to engage with the local religious leaders and other stakeholders.

Rev Silas Ruto, a youth representative at NCCK also demanded that all learning institutions should have chaplains to provide proper spiritual teachings to the learners.

“We want to urge the school managers to thoroughly vet those individuals invited to preach to learners because we have some individuals who preach misleading teachings and end up misleading a generation,” he stated.

According to Lilian Kinuthia, a women representative at the NCCK explained that they are against ‘bad’ teaching preached by certain religious leaders.

“We know that we live in tough economic times so that when they give false hope, they are misled and we have deaths like those reported in Kilifi. We want our members of faith to follow the proper teachings as it was taught by Christ,” she said.

At the same time, the religious leaders appealed to the State to hasten the process of reviewing the Supreme Court decision that allowed the registration of the LGBTQ lobby groups.

“All this is a result of a cultic movement because they provide money to encourage people to approve. We want to encourage our parents to teach our children to look for money through hard work and not quick money,” Ms Kinuthia said.

She noted that as religious leaders they are dissatisfied with the court ruling which goes against the holy scriptures and the African culture.

Recently at a function in Nandi County, President William Ruto promised that his administration will seek for the review of the court decision following public outcry.

“Our president promised that he would review the decision. We want to call on the State to expedite the process and we are hoping that the courts will disallow the decision so that we save people from joining these cults,” added Ms Kinuthia. “The more they delay the more the situation gets worse . . .. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Sheikh Abubakar Bini, the Fatwa Council of Kenya deputy director, accused some political leaders of sowing seeds of discord among the religious leaders.

“Political leaders and those appointed should serve their mandate without spearheading division among religious leaders by favoring one group and disapproving another. We don’t want to see divisions because political leaders are promoting hatred among the religious leaders,” said Sheikh Bini.

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