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Do Not “scrap” Religious Studies in Kenyan Schools, Catholic Entity Petitions Government

Credit: CitizenGo

The African branch of the International Catholic activist organization, CitizenGo Africa, has initiated an online campaign to stop the push by atheists in Kenya to ban religious education.

On September 20, members of the Atheists in Kenya Society (AIK) petitioned the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to do away with Christian, Islamic and Hindu Religious Education (CRE, IRE, and HRE) from the education syllabus arguing that the current syllabus assumes that Kenya has only three religions, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.  

“We are very concerned with the recent push by the irreligious to scrap religious education in schools. Kindly shred the petition by the atheists immediately,” CitizenGo officials tell the leadership of KICD Tuesday, October 5.

If KICD fails to scrap AIK’s petition, CitizenGo officials say, they will “take further action.”  

The activists who describe AIK as an “attention-seeking group” also call upon the Kenyan government “to protect our children from these idle minds whose purpose is to destroy our children and their future.”

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“Globally, Religious education is taught as a subject in schools due to the importance it plays in instilling morals and the fear of God in children,” members of the Catholic activist entity say.

In their September 20 petition obtained by ACI Africa, AIK members propose a new subject, Philosophy and Ethics in the place of Religious Education. 

AIK members claim that the proposed subject “will provide an inclusive and neutral environment for pupils to better understand and explore the views and opinions of people whose beliefs and values differ from their own.”

Last year, AIK described CRE, IRE and HRE as outdated, advocating for their replacement with Religion, Belief and Values (RBV), which would focus on “the history of African Traditional Religion, Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Atheism, Humanism, Spiritualism and any other religion, including Greek Mythology.”

In the October 5 online petition addressed to KICD’s Director, Charles Ochieng' Ong'ondo, CitizenGo officials say that members of AIK are not qualified to advise any governmental body. 

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“Atheists in Kenya whose registration has been rejected by the NGO board and status declared illegal should not influence an iota of what is being taught in schools,” say officials of the entity founded by the ultra-Catholic HazteOir organization.

They add that the non-believers in the East African nation “have no moral standing to advise any reputable governmental body on what to do.”

CitizenGo officials also express their disapproval of AIK’s support for “abortion, LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual and Allies), sexualization of children and even contraception for teenagers.” 

In their proposals for the proposed constitutional amendments, AIK’s Chairman, Harrison Mumia said LGBTQA individuals should be recognized by the country’s Constitution and allowed the freedom to marry.

AIK members also called for the removal of the name God from the Preamble of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 saying that not all Kenyans share a religious belief of a supernatural being.

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Meanwhile, the leadership of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has condemned AIK’s proposal and called on the Government of Kenya not to allow the heathens’ agenda. 

In their September 23 pastoral letter, the leadership of ACK also said that it will not allow the atheists’ proposal to take effect in their schools.