Kenyan plan to regulate faith groups is ‘persecution’

Kenyan plan to regulate faith groups is ‘persecution’

Bishop Mark Kariuki, above, chairman of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, has slammed a plan by Kenyan authorities to regulate religious groups.

According to Religion News Service, the government recently published a set of rules that require religious leaders to have theological degrees and religious groups to submit a statement of faith.

The rules come amid concerns that some pastors were fleecing followers and some mosques were becoming centers of radicalisation

Kariuki, who warned Barack Obama not to discuss gay rights when the US President visited Kenya last year, described the planned regulation as “persecution”.

Requiring pastors to obtain a theological degree is presupposing that all ministers of the gospel are learned. There are some who are called and yet do not have the benefit of formal education.

He also complained that not one church had been formally registered in 2015 and that in 2014 more than 7,000 churches were denied official recognition.

This is manifest discrimination and persecution of the church. We will not take it anymore.

But he added that churches were not opposed to “reasonable” regulation after proper consultation.

Describing it as fraud, the Government is also seeking to stop a new and voluntary trend where Christians send offerings or “seed money” to pastors via mobile phones.

The government also seeks to control preaching on television through new rules governing broadcasting.

Said Kariuki:

The church is in the business of spreading the gospel. It is offensive to tell us we cannot invite people to make decisions for Christ (on TV).

Roman Catholic bishops also expressed shock at the rules, saying that if implemented, they would impede the work of evangelisation.

Bishop Philip Anyolo, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops said:

Similar attempts to regulate the procedures for Christian marriage have led to a major drop in young people coming to church to celebrate the sacrament.

Evangelical and Pentecostal church leaders have threatened countrywide protests against the rules.

The Rev Peter Karanja, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, a Protestant group, warned the government not to provoke churches.

Christians are voters, and it will be tragic to provoke the church into asking whether they voted for the right government.

Sheikh Adan Wachu, chairperson of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, warned that the regulations violate freedom of worship.

In a comment below the Religion News Service report, New Yorker Daniel Berry wrote:

When it comes to the conflict between African church leadership and the West, this, of course, is the elephant in the living room everyone has been choosing to ignore.

Many or most or the Anglican bishops in Kenya, Uganda and other places aren’t prepared to deal with modern social critique, biblical criticism, or even critique of their own histories.

They have no idea what they’re talking about when they blather about “biblical truth,” the “decadence” of Euro-American culture and religious thought, and the impact their untutored perspectives has on the discussion of such issues as the place of gay people in the church, or even the greater community.

The nonsense they preach suggests that, at best, they poorly understand the nature and history of the colonialism that sought deliberately to keep African people in a subjugated position with respect to white people. It’s so deep and so complex that I almost despair of even the Holy Spirit’s ability to unravel it.

9 responses to “Kenyan plan to regulate faith groups is ‘persecution’”

  1. Justin Badby says:

    What a shame for the hucksters … looks like they are not going to find it so easy to separate the poor stupefied uneducated masses from their pittances.

  2. barriejohn says:

    I don’t like the idea of “regulation”, but they have brought this upon themselves. It would be tragic if they were reduced to eating grass!

  3. Stuart H. says:

    Actually, we could do with some of this in the UK.

    Imagine if a minister of religion was compelled by law to go through some sort of government regulated and approved professional training before opening shop and fleecing the sheeple?

    If you wouldn’t have your appendix removed by a bloke who’s never been to university, why would you trust some amateur to guide important life decisions? More importantly, why should the government automatically consult said imbecile on moral matters and allow him any number of tax breaks and other exemptions in law?

  4. AgentCormac says:

    If there’s one thing in the world that needs regulating to exctinction it is religion. They demand exemption from the law and insist on being above investigation for no other reason than they are charlatans who seek power, position and wealth by peddling falsehoods. And in the case of the catholic church, they answer to no one but themselves in order to hide the sickening criminals harboured in their midst. The bleatings and threats of Kariuki and co. show only too well what they fear most: scrutiny. Scrutiny of themselves, scrutiny of their actions, scrutiny of their motives and above all scrutiny of the nonsense they try to pass off as truth.

  5. asquith says:

    Is he measuring his cock, or is he measuring the size of the cocks that can fit into his arse (it’s too tight for anything bigger).

  6. barriejohn says:

    “Remove your panties so God can enter.”

    There are several reports of this, so I assume that it is reliable:

    Describing the wearing of underwear to church by women as ungodly, Reverend Njohi warned his members of dire consequences if they secretly did so. According to one of the church’s members, last Sunday, all the female members of the congregation came to the service without any panties or bra as the pastor ordered. Mothers were advised to check their daughters when coming to church on Sundays so as to ensure their obey the edict and can receive Christ too.

    I’m lost for words again, but what on earth does “The Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church” mean?

  7. Dionigi says:

    I guess without a degree Jesus is not going to run a church

  8. barriejohn says:

    Dionigi: You’re dead right! Those of us with experience of fundamentalism can well attest that proof of “intelligence” is no guarantee that those concerned won’t be the peddlers of utter and complete bullshit . Just look at all the degrees paraded by the contributors to Answers in Genesis, or the bookshelves of evangelical Christians groaning (like mine did) beneath the weight of great tomes written by “educated” men and women. Anyway, “degrees” are ten a penny these days, and you can buy one quite easily, so how do they aim to police all this?