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Worshippers at Holy Family Basilica Church in Nairobi: Churches in Kenya have been exercising strict social distancing due to COVID-19. /CFM-FILE.

Kenya

Palm Sunday marked amid restrictions on processions

The banning of processions is part of new regulations reimposed by the Interfaith Council headed by Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Christians across the country marked Palm Sunday for a second year in a row without the symbolic procession to mark Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem as recorded in the Bible.

The annual commemoration falls a Sunday before Easter.

The banning of processions is part of new regulations reimposed by the Interfaith Council headed by Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In March 2020, a similar ban existed alongside a ban on congregational worship which was lifted in July.

John Mburu, a Jumuia member at the Holy Family Basilika said the members long for a time they can observe Palm Sunday through processions on the street to mark the first day of the Holy Week.

“We miss everything about Palm Sunday now that we are starting the Holy Week, which is so important, we really wish things were different,” said Mburu.

Frank Mutua, a worshiper at All Saints Cathedral, said his spirit was not dampened by the the inability of the church to hold the symbolic procession instead appreciating the opportunity to participate in congregational worship.

“I think we should thank God that we are still alive today where many people have lost their lives due to the disease, we will still get to celebrate such in future, once the country is healthy,” Mutua stated.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday ordered a new lock down in Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru after COVID-19 infections in the counties clustered as a COVID-19 hotspot zone hit record levels.

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The new restrictions came a week before the Palm Sunday and the Easter Holiday celebrations where people travel to different parts of the country to celebrate with family and friends.

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