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Churches to establish self-regulating policy document

After weeks of outrage over the proposed regulation of churches,  National Pentecostal Churches Congress is now readying a bill that seeks to harmonize operations of Pentecostal churches locally for sanity in evangelism.

Organisation`s Secretary General Stephen Ndichu says the bill currently at the draft stage has an input of constitutional lawyers and the clergy striking a balance between the much touted State regulation and the much needed self-regulation by evangelists.

Speaking in Nakuru during the launch of Central Rift chapter of the congress, Ndichu asserted that if enacted into law, Kenya Religious Organizations Act would help formulate a bipartisan framework that would reasonably regulate the constitution and operations of churches in the common interest of their faithful.

The move aims at creating a stand-alone regulatory agency to address mounting concerns about registration, taxes, operations and disciplinary issues among over 60 Pentecostal churches countrywide affiliated to the national congress.

Ndichu who is also the Kiambu County Assembly Speaker and former Juja legislator argues that the bill is envisaged to stem what he described as undue meddling of government in affairs of the Church, an institution he says remains sacred and free of reproach from mortals.

The twist in the regulation debate comes to counter the government`s bid to stem proliferation of churches in the country by freezing further registration and shutting down such entities that fall short of the legal threshold to operate.

A controversial bill developed by Kangema law maker Muturi Kigano has prompted disquiet among the Pentecostal clergy with many calling on Members of the National Assembly to shoot down the bill they have repeatedly castigated as ill-advised and motivated by vendetta.

Premised on ethics and value based evangelism, Muturi`s bill now going through the motions of Parliament is keen on winnowing the sprawling evangelical sector that observers say has increasingly turned into an enterprise and runs counter to their biblical purpose of social cohesion.

Secretary General said the congress is also contesting in court the recognition by law of atheists, transsexual people and same sex marriages saying this erodes social values the country upholds in the Constitution 2010.
By Jane Ngugi/Dennis Rasto

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