RIGHT TO WORSHIP

Clerics fault continued closure of churches in Kisii and Nyamira

Say it is not right to keep people away from churches and mosques when bars and markets are still operational.

In Summary

• The clerics want the government to review the order to allow worshippers to congregate and pray for the country.

• They say it smacks of hypocrisy for the government to insist that places of worship are superspreaders of Covid-19.

Kisii Region Office of the Seventh Day Adventist Church
Kisii Region Office of the Seventh Day Adventist Church
Image: MAGATI OBEBO

Church leaders and imams from Kisii on Tuesday faulted the continued closure of places of worship in the region.

The government last month ordered places of worship closed in 13 counties in the lake region to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The clerics now want the government to review the order to allow worshippers to congregate and pray for the country.

Assistant archdeacon at the Anglican Church in Kisii Rev Herbert Gor and Jamia Mosque Imam Noor Ibrahim said on Tuesday it smacks of hypocrisy for the government to insist that places of worship are superspreaders of Covid-19.

The two, who spoke separately to journalists, said it was wrong to keep people away from churches and mosques when bars and markets are still operational.

“Even the children have started thinking that going to a bar is better than worshipping God,” Gor said.

He spoke after an interfaith forum at St Vincent Pastoral Centre in Kisii.

At least 30 pastors from Nyamira and Kisii attended the meeting.

The clerics said worshippers were more likely to obey the protocols given by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of the virus than revellers in a bar.

Nyaribari Chache politician Zaheer Chanda said residents should be allowed to congregate and pray in their churches, so long as they observe social distancing and wear masks as dictated by the Health ministry.

Muslims in Kisii said they missed out on celebrating Eid al-Adha on Tuesday following orders to stay away from mosques.

Imam Ibrahim said the country is making a mockery of God by allowing bars to sell liquor and locking people out of worship places.

“Matatus are filled to capacity and they effortlessly go through traffic checkpoints, yet we are being denied the right to worship. There is something definitely wrong somewhere,” Noor said.

Edited by A.N