ACK to bar clergy from meeting politicians, Sapit says
NATIONAL | By Winfrey Owino | September 13th 2021
Hours after the Anglican Churches of Kenya (ACK) Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit barred some politicians from addressing congregants at the consecration and enthronement service of Bishop Rose Okeno, he was back at it again, this time with a plan to bar the denomination’s members of the clergy from making trips to meet politicians outside the church.
In an exclusive interview with Spice FM’s Situation Room, Sapit reiterated his stand on politicking in churches, adding that he was going to make further declarations the following Sunday.
“The Anglican clergy should not be among the people reported by the media as ‘grassroots' and religious leaders who meet politicians in their homes. I am going to make a declaration next Sunday, to bar members of ACK clergy from making trips to politicians,” Sapit said.
The Anglican Church chief said when politicians are allowed to address the congregation they speak against their opponents, spewing hate and division.
Sapit said allowing politics in church overrides ministering.
“The church is open for everybody because it is a healing place but we are not going to allow people to take the space of ministry for politics. We cannot mix politics and the Word."
During the interview, Sapit poked holes in church fundraising events, saying it is a major tactic used by politicians to try and sway the church into supporting them.
“I am highly against announcing people’s contributions in church. Giving should be done quietly. It is not advisable to announce what someone has offered,” the Archbishop said.
Prior to the sentiments, the cleric had barred the ODM leader Raila Odinga and his Amani National Congress counterpart Musalia Mudavadi from addressing hundreds of congregants who attended the consecration and enthronement service of the first elected woman Anglican bishop Rose Okeno at Butere Girls School grounds.
“We welcome everyone, but we have to make the church to be the church. We have many leaders in attendance who we shall just recognise,” Sapit announced.
Many politicians in the country are increasingly flocking churches in an effort to identify with the members and win their support ahead of next year’s General Election. Religious institutions are seen as major pullers of people, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when public gatherings are banned.
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