Majority of Kenyans support withdrawn religious legislation – poll

January 30, 2016 1:36 pm
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The survey findings however indicated that 62 percent of those polled stated they were opposed to the directive that churches must submit annual tax returns and audited accounts/FILE
The survey findings however indicated that 62 percent of those polled stated they were opposed to the directive that churches must submit annual tax returns and audited accounts/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Majority of Kenyans support recently withdrawn religious legislation according to a new survey released by Pan Africa Research Services.

According to the survey, about 60 percent of Kenyans from different denominations want to see religious organizations streamlined.

Pan Africa Research Services Associate Director Susan Chege says the respondents were of the view that religious clerics should have a certificate of good conduct which would ensure the churches rid themselves of rogue preachers who take advantage the congregation.

Chege said the respondents also want clerics have a theological training certificate from a recognised institution in a bid to prevent them from giving false information or misleading their congregants.

“Those opposed to the theological training were of the view that preaching is calling or a gift and does not require learning,” she explained.

The survey findings however indicated that 62 percent of those polled stated they were opposed to the directive that churches must submit annual tax returns and audited accounts.

“Those opposed said that religious institutions should be given a free hand to determine how they spend the money they have collected from their congregations,” she said.

The survey was conducted with a sample size of 2,096 respondents before the government withdrew the raft of measures it had proposed to streamline how religious organizations operate.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has already directed Attorney General Githu Muigai to review proposals in the Religious Societies Rules 2015 after thorough and exhaustive consultations with all stakeholders.

He asked the AG to ensure that the current draft regulations are subjected to vigorous public consultations so that they don’t undermine the fundamental values and principles enshrined in the constitution.

“The directive came after major public outcry on the proposed regulations that have been termed as unreasonable and untenable by religious leaders.

Opposing the regulations the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops accused the government of plotting to micro-manage the activities of the Church through the proposed regulations under the new society’s rules.

The conference chairman Rt. Rev Philip Anyolo specifically said they were against the requirement for different faiths to keep updated register where they say the work of winning souls for Christ is an ongoing task.

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