Kenya: Mombasa Clerics Urge Resumption of Congregational Worship Amid Virus Uncertainty

Mombasa — Pastors at the Coast on Friday urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to open the churches and allow Kenyans to converge at the places of worship.

Mombasa Pastors Fellowship (MPF) leadership said the lack spiritual nourishment for the past four months during which the country has been under coronavirus containment measures has driven people to the brink of despair, hence the increased cases of social vices.

MPF Chairperson Reverend Elijah Mulavu said since the order of social gathering was put in place, the churches in Kenya had to forfeit communal worship, fellowship and counselling.

"This has resulted in many social ills within our communities. Gender violence has risen, teenage pregnancies, suicidal deaths, depression, increase in crime and despair among many Kenyans," said Mulavu.

He said the government should now consider churches as essential service providers.

"This is the time for government to realize that the church offers essential services to communities and should always be considered as such," said the MPF chair.

The MPF leadership said the churches in Mombasa are ready to host congregants again while ensuring adherence to social distance and hygiene protocols within the places of worship.

Mulavu said pastors have been sensitized by Ministry of Health and other non-governmental on how to ensure the safety of congregants and fight stigma.

"We shall observe order and safety measures as provided by the Ministry of Health and others as proposed by the interfaith committee," said Mulavu.

Meanwhile, MPF expressed opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill which is currently before the Senate.

The Mombasa pastors said the contents of the Bill are not different from what was rejected during the making of the 2010 constitution.

"The Bill seeks to remove deterrent measures and reduce the sanctity of life of human being. Those who procure abortion in very unhealthy way should be jailed. We reject the Bill in its entirety," said Mulavu.

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