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VAS

Church must obey the law against noise pollution

COMMENTARY
By | March 2nd 2010

Edward Musungu

The Environmental Management and Coordination Regulation 2009, famed as rules on noise pollution, have rattled the Church.

It has termed the rules ungodly and vowed not to obey them.

As much as it is within religious leaders’ constitutional right to do so, there has to be order in doing what is acceptable and realistic.

Right thinking members of the society would not welcome unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise that disturbs others.

The State should ensure threats to the public are minimised. The Church would not wish this away. The rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association plays a fundamental role in holding religious beliefs and practising one’s religion. However, like everything else, public aspect of the right to worship, observance or teaching is subject to limitation.

To suggest that the Michuki rule contravenes the freedom of worship is not true.

The explosion of churches mainly in residential places has brought misery to doorsteps. A calm night is something some people have not known for a long time. Weeklong services and night services are things individuals have to put up with. A quiet drink late at night is marred by interruptions of shouting and whistling. Serene comfort in hotels is never complete with raspy preaching in lunch hour meetings. This is besides invading people’s privacy in public vehicles, and imposing Bible teachings on passengers without regard to one’s beliefs and conviction.

The Church must rise above petty activism and engage in constructive dialogue in sensitising the public to obey the laws.

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