“Greatly honored” to Have Served: Kenya’s Interfaith Council as COVID-19-mandate Ends

Members of the Interfaith Council in Kenya. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Members of the Interfaith Council in Kenya who were mandated to guide the resumption of public worship during the COVID-19 pandemic have, as their tenure comes to an end, expressed gratitude to the Kenyan government and the people of God in the East African nation for giving them the opportunity to serve. 

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta established the Interfaith Council for National Response to Coronavirus Pandemic to guide the resumption of public worship in the East African nation in June 2020. 

In a statement signed by the Council’s Chairperson, Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri, the members of different faith traditions and religions say they felt “so close and united for a common cause… (and) had wonderful experiences of mutual respect and working relationship” when carrying out their duties.

“We feel greatly honored to have been of service to the Nation,” they say in the Tuesday, October 18 statement shared with ACI Africa. 

They express gratitude to all Kenyans “who in spite of the sacrifices it entailed, complied by and large, to the guidelines and indications given by this Interfaith Council. At times it meant heroic forgoing of some important aspects in the distinct worship styles of the diverse Faith Traditions.”


They add, “Great appreciation and praise goes to the entire team of the Interfaith Council which, with great focus and dedication, guided the Nation spiritually during this period. We thank you most sincerely for your dedication at every stage of this work. May God bless you and reward your efforts.”

The Interfaith Council brought together 15 faith leaders representing the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) among other religious entities in the country. 

The team whose tenure was extended after it expired in December 2020 worked in collaboration with Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i and his counterpart in the Ministry of Health, Mutahi Kagwe.

In their October 18 statement, the religious leaders thank the former President for the appointment and the Cabinet Secretaries for their support. 

They say the sacrifices manifested during the coronavirus time were testimonies of “the depth of Faith in God in Kenyans.”

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The Religious leaders say the COVID-19 threat has come down and announce the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions on public worship.

“We can now resume all our worship arrangements, returning to the normal arrangements for each Faith Tradition,” they say.

The interfaith Council members recommend the continued use masks, especially for the vulnerable in society, saying, “It remains advisable, especially for the elderly and the sick, to continue using masks. Each Worship Center may determine how to regulate the use of masks or hand-washing going forward, though this will remain optional.”

They encourage Kenyans “to uphold and enhance the solidarity with each other, that we have learnt during this pandemic,” and add, “The wellbeing of our brothers and sisters depend on us, and vice versa.”

“We thank God who has held us throughout this difficult period, for his protection and mercy. We pray that, through his mercy, we may never again experience a pandemic of this caliber,” the members of the Interfaith Council in Kenya say in their October 18 statement shared with ACI Africa.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.