The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has set a precedent by locking out politicians from the pulpit. We challenge other denominations and faiths to follow suit.
Places of worship should be kept holy and protected from politics. This is what we have advocated all along and we add that the decision should apply across the board.
No politician, irrespective of shade or creed, should be allowed to use the pulpit for politicking. Let them organise rallies for their supporters elsewhere. Places of worship should be respected and preserved to serve their spiritual purposes.
At the weekend, ACK Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit blocked top political leaders, among them Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, from addressing the congregation and decreed that, henceforth, no politician would be allowed to speak from the pulpit at any Anglican church.
Even so, some politicians still had the temerity to go to other churches, where they were allowed to do politics. That shows the desperation among politicians and raises fundamental questions about the intention and integrity of those clergy who allow the politicians to use the pulpit for politic ends.
Essentially, the faithful go to places of worship for spiritual nourishment and not to listen to politicians. At any rate, the congregants are of mixed political persuasion and would not want to be fed with the doctrines they don’t subscribe to.
We hope that Archbishop Sapit will enforce the rule across all ACK parishes. It would be disingenuous if the veto is applied selectively. Importantly, all the churches should block politicians from politicking within their precincts.
Concomitantly, they should stop inviting politicians to preside over fundraisers for their development projects. Indeed, that is what gives them the excuse to misuse the churches.
The rallying call is for religious leaders to keep politics out of the places of worship. Politicians can mount campaigns wherever they wish, but not within places of worship, where they violate the sanctity of those premises.