A Mombasa-based church has requested the government to ensure all clerics acquire university degrees before being allowed on the pulpit.
United Methodist Church East Africa Bishop Daniel Wandambula said the rule will save Christians from being exposed to rogue clerics.
Speaking in Kisauni, Mombasa County, during a conference for members of the church from Kenya and Ethiopia, Wandambula claimed clerics subject their followers to wrong teachings of the Bible causing them to fast until they die.
“I am supporting the recent new rules which require the clerics to submit certificates of good conduct and theological training certificates to avoid having rogue priests in the churches,” said bishop Wandambula.
The debate on the regulation of churches re-emerged after the Shakahola massacre, where more than 420 followers of Goods News International church associated with Paul Makenzi fasted to death in a secluded forest while waiting to see Jesus. Makenzi is currently in custody awaiting to face criminal charges.
Bishop Wandambula whose jurisdiction covers Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Burundi said in Rwanda, the churches are properly being regulated and there are no rogue pastors. United Methodists Church East Africa is distinct from Kenya Methodist church led by presiding Bishop Isaya Deye.
Bishop Wandambula who is based in Uganda said Kenya has taken the right direction in insisting that church leaders must have credible backgrounds.
He was accompanied by Mombasa District Support church leader Rev Benard Amani. He advised some church members who want a split from the main church to go in peace but should not lay claim over the church property. “We have allowed those who want to leave United Methodist Church East Africa to go but on condition, they go without any church property,” said Wandambula.
According to the religious societies’ new rules which were recently published by the Attorney General, any new church should submit its constitution, showing the statement of doctrine.
But Wandambula said the statement of the doctrine of faith was lacking among many mushrooming churches in Kenya. “I support that all religious societies must be registered and open to the registrar’s inspection at any time,” he said.