The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: The Bible Forbids Measles Vaccine, Embu Parents Say

Four children in Embu will be immunised against their parents' wish. Joseph Kamau Mwangi his wife Wanjiru and Nginda Nyagah belong to the Kanisa la Mungu which forbids the use of modern medicine.

The parents have refused to have their children immunised against measles. Chief magistrate Margaret Wachira told the three that they have to "give Caesar what belongs to Caesar" by obeying the law and the constitution which provides for children's rights on medical care.The three tried to justify their beliefs by giving sermons when asked to explain why they think the court should be lenient to them.

They pleaded guilty to refusing to have their children immunised in the countrywide immunisation campaign against measles on. November 6 at Kimangaru village in Embu West district

They told the court that God, as portrayed in the Bible protects the believers from diseases so long as he or she prays or is anointed with the holy oil by the elders who pray by laying on of hands.

The three claimed that this provision is portrayed in the books of Jacob, Psalm 103, 1Peter 2:24 amongs others and if one obeys the law of the Lord they will be protected from harm.

"The mistreatment, through whipping, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ protects us from all kind of harm including diseases so long as you pray to Him," said Kamau.

However, they were unable to quote any book, chapter or verse in the Bible which forbids seeking treatment in hospital when asked to do so by the judge. They said they they were obeying their teaching and not a direct instruction from the Bible.

"I have followed this doctrine for more than 20 years during which my family and I have been healed from many diseases, my colleagues have been healed from lethal snake bites and other serious diseases which can't compare to a minor disease like measles," said Ngida. Wachira remanded the three in custody until November 26.

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