8 January 2013

Kenya: Reject Poll Campaigns From Pulpit, Church Told

Religious leaders have been challenged to ensure that politicians are not allowed to use pulpits to seek political support. Addressing religious leaders in Malindi at the weekend, Ujamaa Center Program Manager Harriet Osimbo said pulpits are sacred places and not political grounds.

She said politicians, just like anyone else are wellcome to worship God within the church premises but not to politic."Let all religious leaders know that churches are not campaigning grounds. They have the right and authority to lock out politicians who intend to use these sacred areas for their political gain," she said.

Osimbo said by allowing politicians to use the church for campaign, the clergy risks dividing their membership. She said when a politician speaks in church, even those who do not support them are forced to listen to them which may not sit well with church members. since not everyone may be a supporter of that individual or party.

She called on the leaders to preach peace and to encourage believers to pray for the country's well-being. "It is high time religious leaders took their positions seriously. They have a responsibility to ensure that the country remains peaceful before and after elections," she said.

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