Kenyan atheists want Feb 17 declared national holiday

What you need to know:

  • Atheists in Kenya group was registered as a Society in February 17, 2016 (Societies Act, Cap 108) but Prof Muigai suspended it

An atheists lobby has asked Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to declare February 17 a public holiday for non-believers.

Following the declaration of Tuesday, August 21, as a public holiday to mark Idd ul Adha, Atheists in Kenya (AIK) want a day for themselves too to “preach” their belief that God does not exist.

“Kenyans who do not believe in god or gods deserve a public holiday too,” AIK vice president Ms Siongok said in a statement to newsrooms on Sunday. 

In the past, the atheists’ group has accused the government of religious bias that it claims contravenes the Constitution.

“We will use the occasion to show our lack of faith in god by holding parades in various counties and also to increase awareness about atheism in Kenya. We believe that this will promote freedom of religion as a human right in Kenya in line with Article 27 of Constitution,” said Ms Siongok.

Article 27(4) of the Constitution says the "State shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground, including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth."

AIK was registered as a Society in February 17, 2016 (Societies Act, Cap 108) but Prof Muigai suspended it following opposition from clergy until legal questions around the legitimacy of the group are addressed.

However, the High Court overturned the group's deregistration.

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