Atheists laud ACK archbishop for barring politicians from speaking in church
The Atheist Society in Kenya (AIK) on Monday, September 13, supported a move by the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) leadership to bar politicians from using religion as a platform to politicize.
This comes just a day after archbishop of the ACK Jackson Ole Sapit blocked Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Raila Odinga, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi from speaking at a church function during the consecration of Rev. Rose Okeno as the Bishop Butere Diocese in Kakamega County.
In a statement sent to media houses, Harrisson Mumia who is the AIK President said that Kenya was a liberal democracy.
“Kenya, as a liberal democracy, will only thrive where the secular and religious domains keep a safe distance from each other,” the statement read in part.
Mumia went ahead to caution Kenyans against Deputy President William Ruto arguing that he has managed to cleverly cultivate a christian nationalistic image.
The AIK head said that the DP was subtly appropriating Pentecostal language in all his public speeches.
“The Deputy President should stop taking advantage of the socio-economic vulnerabilities of unemployed youth,” the statement further read.
In the function, Ole Sapit took to the pulpit and announced that he would not allow any political comments in the church and said that the place was holy and a no-go zone for political rhetoric.
He said that the invited leaders would only be allowed to worship then later leave quietly like other members of the church.
He said that the church did not have time for any politician to speak and all he was planning to do was read the names of those who were in attendance.
“I will read the names of all our members, whom we respect so much, leaders of our society who have come to grace the occasion, and if you want to address the press, you will do so after the service has ended,” he said.
Moments later, Mudavadi left the function which attracted condemnation from the public but in a statement later in the day, the ANC leader said that he did not storm the function but had headed to Murang’a for another event.
"We told the archbishop that we were going to Murang'a and we were running late requesting him to excuse us" he said, adding that those claiming that he stormed out are malicious and want to discredit him in the eyes of the public.