First Lady Rachel Ruto on Sunday led a section of the clergy and political class in defending the church in the wake of calls for the regulation of religious organisations.
Contrary to the perception that many churches had strayed, Mrs Ruto insisted that many churches operate on the straight and narrow path contributing to the government's effort of ensuring social order.
Additionally, stated the First Lady, schools, hospitals and other projects initiated by churches have increased employment opportunities.
‘‘We have to hail the church for its role in initiating development projects in the country that has improved the livelihood of our people. When a church puts up a 15-storey building, it is part of our government development agenda on housing,’’ said Mrs Ruto.
She spoke in Umoja estate during the 39th celebration of Deliverance Church, and 70 years of the founder Bishop JB Masinde.
While lauding Masinde for the transformation, the First Lady said it is in bad taste to generalise the conduct of church leaders since some of them are the epitome of development.
‘‘Kenya is blessed to have you as a leader. You have interest in young people, what you are doing in the transformation of the lives of many youths is recommended. When churches come to partner with the government is a great step and pillar,’’ she said.
The First Lady noted that although the country is going through a hard economic situation, the church has a significant role to pray for better things to come.
She hailed Masinde for the work, saying it is not easy to grow a church from a tent to opening 150 branches across the country, with 51 churches in Zambia and 10 others in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Deputy President's wife Dorcas Gachagua scoffed at those opposed to her and Mrs Ruto leading prayer sessions and fasting saying they will not relent.
‘‘Some people have been saying that we are being forced to fast, we don’t fast under pressure but we do it for the good of the nation. We will not stop at fasting, we will remain steadfast,’’ Mrs Gachagua said.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja urged the church to continue playing its role of moulding the young generation. Bishop Mark Kariuki said the church will weed out those who contaminate religion, and ensure they are exposed.