EAK Protest new religious societies rules

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The Evangelical Community in Kenya strongly opposed the Government’s move to implement Religious Societies Rules that they believe would curtail freedom of worship enshrined in the Nation’s Constitution.

Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) Chairman, Bishop Mark Kariuki, said the regulations are in bad faith and vowed to mobilise members to protest against them.

Snapshot of the new Religious Societies Rules

  • Requirement that all religious organisations submit their constitution showing statement of their doctrine of faith.
  • Religious societies in Kenya must have constitutions with programmes, ministries, charitable activities and education activities undertaken by the religious society and details of persons coordinating these activities.
  • Religious societies must be registered and open to the registrar's inspection any time
  • Religious leaders must make a declaration of familial relations with other religious leaders and officers.
  • All pastors in Kenya must hold a theological certificate from an accredited theological institution.

According to the attorney general, the new draft rules are aimed at dealing with religious organizations that have been misusing religious freedom and exploiting their members. The rules are, in part, a response to public outcry after the media exposed activities by some church leaders accused of getting rich at their followers’ expense.

The new rules are set to be gazetted at the end of January and will be operational in 2017.