• The clergy accused the government of treating them unfairly and allowing politicians to congregate without observing the prescribed anti-coronavirus regulations.
• They clerics say the reopening of churches will reduce the rate of mental suffering as those affected will have places to run to for prayers and counselling.
City clerics want the government to hasten the reopening of churches for them to start collecting tithes and offerings and reduce their financial suffering.
They claim the reopening of churches will also reduce the rate of mental illnesses in the country.
"We have experienced the escalation in domestic violence, separations and suicide since closure of churches. This is due to lack of places to run to for prayers and counselling," the Voice of Church Roysambu Pastors' Fellowship said on Monday.
The pastors, through (apostle) Varity Fricker, said the closure of places of worship had brought a lot of financial suffering to them.
"Most of us have either rented or leased the houses we use for worship. Since the closure of churches, we have been unable to pay our monthly instalments as there is no money," Fricker said.
According to the fellowship of pastors, some clerics have opted to carry out other businesses, leaving the "flock without shepherds".
The pastors lead about 40 churches each with a pre-coronavirus congregational capacity of 200 worshippers.
The clerics said they are wallowing in poverty and want the government to consider giving them food and other basic needs.
"We appeal to the government to consider supporting and feeding pastors as they too are Kenyans who deserve the benefits other Kenyans are enjoying," Fricker said.
To them, the government has treated them unfairly by taking the reopening of churches lightly.
They said the protocols of the reopening of places of worship should be guided by the scriptures.
"Those outside the Bible will not be accepted," the pastors said.
They decried the "daily gatherings" of politicians in large numbers. They will not accept the reopening of churches for just a few people, arguing that none of the politicians, who congregate in large numbers had died of Covid-19.
On June 1, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed Interior and Health cabinet secretaries to hasten talks with religious leaders on how best the places of worship can be reopened.
The two CSs were mandated to come up with the protocols to guide gatherings in churches, temples and mosques, for services to resume without exposing congregations to Covid-19.
The places of worship were shut in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Mainstream churches live-stream services online and on television.
- mwaniki fm