President Uhuru erred by opening places of worship- Atheists

Atheists in Kenya President Harrison Mumia during an interview at his workplace at the School of Monetary Studies. [File, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta made a costly error by conditionally opening churches on Monday, Atheists in Kenya (AIK) has said.

In a press statement released on Monday evening, the group faulted President Uhuru’s directive that ordered the opening of churches to only 100 congregants and for only an hour-long prayer session.

The President also ordered for the suspension of Madrasas and Sunday Schools as well as preventing congregants above 58 years and below 13 years from taking part in prayers. Such people are considered vulnerable to coronavirus.

But the atheists have termed the directive as 'misguided, impracticable and counter-productive.' The AIK argue that the government is not adequately prepared to monitor the congregational gatherings to ensure that safety protocols by the World Health Organization are followed.

“How will the government ensure that places of worship are not crowded, especially in the informal settlements where a church could mean small confined space? How will the government ensure that congregants to hug, or shake hands in church?” the posed.

The AIK further aver that some doctrines within the Christian denomination could be a hindrance to social distancing and limiting the spread of Covid-19. For instance, it claims that some preachers could purport to be curing the virus hence this will only cause more negligence.

“We know that some pastors will defy the Covid-19 health regulations on grounds that God heals. Many Kenyans believe in miracles and some men and women of God will purport to have the ability to heal the virus,” AIK stated.

According to the AIK, the government has scored meagerly on contact tracing hence sanctioning congregation of such nature could only expose more Kenyans to the virus.

On Monday, President Uhuru announced a phased reopening of the economy where lifted orders on cessation of movements in Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties. He, however, extended the dusk to dawn curfews as well as bans on gatherings, funeral gathering and weddings.


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