Nairobi, 12 June, 2020 / 11:00 pm (ACI Africa).
The newly constituted Inter-faith Council with the mandate to guide the resumption of public worship in Kenya will be headed by Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Kenya’s Nyeri Archdiocese, the Kenyan government announced in a Gazette notice Friday, June 12.
“Pursuant to the Presidential Directive issued during the 8th State Address on the Coronavirus Pandemic delivered on 6th June, 2020; it is notified for the general information of the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Health do jointly appoint The Inter-Faith Council,” the Kenyan Government stated in the Gazette notice that announced the appointment of Archbishop Muheria as Chairperson of a 15-member Council alongside three Joint Secretaries.
Answerable to Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “through the National and County Government Co-ordinating Summit” and headquartered at the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government in Nairobi, the Archbishop Muheria-led Council has been tasked with developing six protocols that can guide the resumption of public worship in the East African nation.
The Council, which has two other Catholic Bishops as members is expected to develop strict “protocols for the phased reopening of the places of worship; guidelines towards the gradual and progressive resumption of in-person congregational worship that adheres to physical and social distancing guidelines; and protocols for the celebration of weddings and other religious ceremonies in the Places of Worship in ways compliant with physical and social distancing guidelines (and) protocols for religious funerals and gravesites/crematoria last rites and send-off.”
Developing “protocols for the religious funerals and gravesides/crematoria last rites and send-off (and) a program for public sensitization and capacity-building of all religious leaders and clergy on the protocols” will be part of the undertakings of the Council in which Bishop John Oballa of the Catholic diocese of Ngong and Bishop Joseph Obanyi of the Catholic diocese of Kakamega are members.