Church has sold soul for 30 pieces of silver
Courageous religious leaders played a central role in the struggle for multi-party democracy and resistance against dictatorship in Kanu days.
They used their pulpits to speak truth to power in demand for greater freedoms, respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
They put their lives at great risk to speak for victims of state-instigated ethnic cleansing, arrest and detention of reform crusaders and suppression of dissenting voices by a brutal regime.
Churches became a safe refuge for reform voices facing State crackdown. Indeed, the clergy teamed up with reform voices in the civil society to spearhead constitutional reforms under the Ufungamano Initiative in the late 90s.
Their efforts are indelibly anchored in the 2010 Constitution, a negotiated document after many years of struggle.
We are concerned about the mutating face of clergy. In great contrast to past religious leaders who provided a moral voice, when it was needed, today’s clerics have surrendered their pulpits to politicians who shamelessly use them to preach sin in return for financial donations.
Instead of spiritual nourishment, worshippers are treated to endless political speeches by people of doubtful moral standing.
Places of worship have been turned into platforms for propagation of hatred and rationalisation of graft and deceit, a disgraceful mockery of religious teachings.
Gleeful clergymen are exploiting ongoing political jostling to seek money from politicians while decidedly deaf to the high-decibel dins over the source of the cash.
Though unsubstantiated, there have been claims that some politicians could be using churches to launder dirty money. Those claims should be investigated.
Given the heavy responsibility accorded to clergy as the moral and spiritual guides of society, the church institution can longer continue to be shrouded in opaqueness.
They have a responsibility to be accountable to society and should not allow politicians to abuse places of worship.
That is why we support the decision of some religious leaders banning politicians from pulpits.
Politicians will be allowed to attend the churches but will not campaign. Huge delegations of church leaders have been constant guests of some of the country’s top politicians.
In some unfortunate instances, some of them have been recorded cheering-leading hate rhetoric.
It is unfortunate that a section of the Kenyan church has sold its soul for 30 pieces of silver.