Inter-Faith Council set to release guidelines on reopening places of worship

Written By: James Rono

The Council also called for patience among Kenyans as it concludes the development of the guidelines and hopes to have Interim Guidelines and Report within the next week.

The Inter-Faith council is set to release guidelines on reopening of places of worship in the next one week.

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In a statement Saturday, the Council’s chairperson Rev Anthony Muheria said the mandate of the Council, among, others, is to develop guidelines for safe phased re-opening of places of worship, guidelines on celebration of weddings, funerals and other religious ceremonies.

“We have worked out and developed a working plan that will help us follow a working plan and guidelines of the tasked activities and their implementation,” Muheria said in the statement.

Muheria also said the Council is developing a programme to create public awareness and capacity building of all religious leaders on the guidelines.

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The cleric added that the council felt there was a need to hold consultative meetings with representatives of all religious communities in the country to receive input to inform the guidelines.

“The Council has received other presentations by various religious groups and interests persons. We are open to receive any submissions form organized religious groups who can get in touch with our secretariat,” Muheria added.

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The council further said progress has been made in harmonizing the views of all the religious communities and other presentations.

“We invite the public to participate in this process by inviting feedback through sending a memorandum to the council through its email address interfaithcouncil@interior.go.ke to reach the Council by July 2, 2020,” he said.

The Council is expected to oversee the resumption of in-person congregational worship and spiritual functions in strict adherence to the containment measures put in place by the government to halt the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

Premising their undertaking on the World Health Organization’s cautionary advice that the novel coronavirus could become endemic in the human population, the team is also expected to co-opt any other persons to ensure the agreed general standard operating procedures are cascaded to all faith leaders at the grassroots.

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The appointment of the council followed extensive consultations between the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Ministry of Health with inter-religious leaders with a view to developing protocols for onsite worship under the prevailing circumstances.

The full list of members of the council are:
1. Most (Rev.) Archbishop Anthony Muheria – Chairperson Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese
2. Rt. (Rev.) John Obala Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
3. Rt. (Rev.) Joseph Obanyi Bishop of Kakamega
4. Rt. (Rev.) Julius Mwamba Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA)
5. Rev. (Can.) Chris Kamau Kinyanjui National Council of Churches of Kenya
6. Rev. (Can.) Rosemary Mbogo Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK)
7. Pastor (Dr.) Samuel Makori Eastern Union Seventh Day Adventist Church
8. Al Hajj Hassan Ole Naado Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM)
9. Sheikh Sukyan Hassan Omar Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM)
10. Sheikh Abdulatif Abdulkarim Kenya Council of Imams and Ulamaas (KCIU)
11. Rev. (Fr.) Joseph Mutie Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC)
12. Bishop (Dr.) David Oginde Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Christ is The Answer Ministries
13. Rev. Connie Kivuti Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
14. Sujata Kotamraju Hindu Council of Kenya
15. Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Samuel Thiong’o Mwangi General Conference of Akorino Churches Assembly
16. Sheikh Ali Saidi Samojah Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat, Lavington Mosque

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Joint Secretaries

  1. Dr. Kepha Ombacho Director of Special Programmes, Ministry of Health
  2. Dr. Francis Kuria Kagema Inter-Religious Council of Kenya
  3. Paul Famba Director of Administration, Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government
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The mandate of the team shall lapse on December 31, 2020, but maybe extended at the discretion of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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