RELIGIOUS CAMPAIGNS

Keep divisive politics out of Kenya churches

In Summary

• On Monday, Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit instructed Anglican priests not to visit politicians at home

• On Sunday, Sapit stopped senior politicians from speaking at a consecration service in Butere

Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit addresses the media in Embu town on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit addresses the media in Embu town on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

Anglican Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit yesterday asked his clergy not to visit politicians at home.

On Sunday, he barred politicians – including Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Martha Karua and Eugene Wamalwa– from speaking at the consecration in Butere for the first Anglican woman bishop in Kenya.

This might seem strange given the historic role that the Kenya churches played in the Second Liberation. But that was a struggle to win basic democratic values for every Kenyan. All the congregation supported it.

Instead Sapit opposes divisive party politics where one politician mudslings another for political advantage. That divides and upsets the congregation when the church faithful should be meditating on higher spiritual matters.

We are now in the run-up to the August 2022 presidential, parliamentary and county elections. All politicians will want to speak to churchgoers but Sapit is right, this will corrupt churches. It will drag them down into the mud instead of lifting them up to heaven.

Sapit should not back down. He should stop all politicians from preaching politics in church. And other church leaders should follow his example. Let's keep divisive party politics out of church.

Quote of the day: "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."

Dante Alighieri
The Italian writer died on September 14, 1321