Attorney General Githu Muigai has suspended the registration of the Atheists’ Society in Kenya following complaints from the clergy.
The AG said the society would remain suspended until all the legal questions around the legitimacy of the group are addressed by the Supreme Court.
“Following receipt of representations made to the State Law Office by various religious and other organisations regarding the registration of the Atheist Society of Kenya, the Attorney General has directed the Register of Societies to suspend with immediate effect the said registration under Section 12(1)(b) of the Societies Act until the propriety, legality and constitutionality of the registration is determined by the Supreme Court,” said the AG’s statement.
The decision came just a day after a Christian lobby threatened to sue the AG for registering “people who do not believe in God”. Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Churches (KNCPC) had expressed disgust over a decision by Attorney General Githu Muigai to recognise the society. The atheists believe God does not exist.
The KNCPC deputy chairperson, Stephen Ndicho, wants the AG to resign and criticised the decision to register the society. Ndicho accused Prof Muigai (pictured) of registering a society’s whose members do not believe in the existence of God, and noted that atheism means the absence of a theist belief.
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“The society states on their website that atheism is not a religion, a philosophy, a worldview, or anything similar. It is not the conviction that there are gods, ghosts, and angels. It’s rather absence of a belief that these things are real.”
Some Kenyans on social media had reacted that the Atheist movement would undermine social norms.
Addressing the press, Ndicho said they were ready to go to court to challenge a decision by the Registrar of Society to recognise AIK as legal entity.
The KNCPC demand that the Attorney General de-register the movement before they are compelled to mobilise believers of religion to seek legal redress.
“We ask the AG to quit office with immediate effect. We cannot have a legal advisor to the Government who misleads the State on matters of religions. Freedom of worship is a constitutional obligation of every Kenyan, it should not be misrepresented for the interests of few individuals in the country,” said Ndicho.
The President of the society, Mr Harrison Mumia, urged Kenyans to ignore calls by religious leaders to de-register the party. Mumia said atheist was a recognised legal entity.
“This group has no relation to devil worshiping, freemasonry, satanism. We do not intend to indulge in any sexual perversions, drug abuse or any other outlawed indulges. This is a party by Atheists in Kenya and for atheists. We want to bring atheists together and only people above 18 are eligible to join,” Mumia said.