Kenyan Christian Leaders Stand Together Against Proposed Constitution
A broad range of Christian leaders in Kenya issued a joint statement Friday on their country's proposed constitution, calling on "all Kenyans" to reject it "in its entirety."
The statement, signed off by leaders from 30 different Christian groups and denominations, acknowledged that "many positive improvements" are in the proposed draft but said "the good has been mixed with evil sections that affect the moral life and rights of this country in irreversible and fundamental ways."
More specifically, the church leaders said the proposed constitution does not safeguard the sacredness of human life, the sound and moral education of the country's children, nor religious equality.
"The proposed constitution in its current form is not good for the country," stated the leaders from denominations including the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, the Methodist Church in Kenya, and the Kenya Assemblies of God, among others.
While the church leaders said they have always been supportive of a new Constitutional order for their country and have worked hard for it, they made clear their opinion of the "flawed proposed constitution" and said they are steadfast in their beliefs.
"We are neither guided by political gains nor the succession politics of 2012," the clergymen stated. "Political leaders last only for as long as they have been elected while ours is a divine lifetime calling. We shall have to be the ones to shepherd the flock through any turmoil that the current or proposed constitution or negative politics may bring. You have trusted us before, and we call upon you to continue trusting us now as your religious and moral stewards."
The Christian leaders also extended their call to their "Muslim brothers and sisters," praying that they will also join them in rejecting the constitution.
"There will be no cause to celebrate, regardless of whether the proposed draft is accepted or rejected," they added. "We shall be left a country divided and shall have to begin- yet gain- the process of healing and reconciliation."
That said, the Christian leaders also committed themselves to praying for the country – its unity and peace after the referendum next week.
"We appeal to all Kenyans, to exercise restraint, love and understanding for one another," they added. "Kenyans should not become divided because of the proposed constitution."
On Aug. 4, the people of Kenya will be voting on the proposed constitution, which has also received objections overseas.
According to the World Congress of Families, the proposed constitution includes language that would allow abortion when the mother's "health" is affected by a continuation of pregnancy.
Notably, however, the constitution does not define the word "health," and therefore could come to include "complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"Western style language legalizing abortion was inserted into the Kenyan constitution by nine voting members of the Committee of Experts, which included three non-Kenyans, and was rejected by Kenyan Parliamentarians in the draft process," reported a last minute petition put together by WCF.
In less than a week, WCF gathered the signatures of 170 pro-life and pro-family leaders in 21 countries who support Kenyans opposed to the pro-abortion constitution.
Among the signers of the petition are Linda Harvey, president of Mission America; Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition; and Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas.
As for the statement issued Friday, Christian groups represented included the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya, and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, among others.
According to the CIA World Factbook, 78 percent of Kenya's 40 million population claim to be Christian. Of that, more than half are Protestant.