Clerics Raise Voices Against Noise Law

Nairobi, Kenya - Church leaders in the larger Nakuru District and other parts of the country are preparing to move to court to challenge the just enacted rules on noise pollution.

Speaking during a pastors' meeting in Nakuru, Bishop Mark Kariuki of Deliverance Church of Kenya said the law was oppressive and denied some Christians their freedom of worship and expression.

He said while some Christians liked to worship in silence others were loud since that was their way of praise.

"You cannot force worshippers who want to sing and shout in praise because even the Bible tells us to make a joyful noise to the Lord," said Bishop Kariuki.

Addressing the press after they read out a memorandum in response to the harmonised draft constitution, the church leaders said they were consulting their lawyers with the intention of challenging the rules fronted by Environment minister John Michuki.

"We will sing and make noise in God's praise even if they jail us or take us to court," said Bishop Kariuki.

On the draft constitution, the church leaders said they would mobilise their followers to shoot it down if the clause on Kadhi courts was not deleted.

The leaders demanded the deletion of Articles 208 (b) and 209.

Article 208 (b) recognises Kadhi courts as subordinate courts while Article 209 expounds on the formation, officials and functions of the courts.Most Kenyans are of the opinion that the constitution must treat all religions equally, said Pastor Sammy Nkahu of News Creation Church.

He noted that the draft contradicted itself because while Article 10 provided that all religions were equal and must be treated equally by the State, the same document also sought to establish Kadhi courts for another group.

The memorandum also called for the amendment of Article 42 (2) which gave the impression that marriage shall be between man and woman under the constitution.

Pastor Nkahu noted that the constitution failed to prohibit same-sex unions and founding families through adoption.

Separately, Bishop Geoffrey Buliba of the Christian Brotherhood Church said Kenya could experience a major problem in the future if the Kadhi courts are entrenched in the constitution.