Drama as chief, police officers storm church in Kirinyaga over coronavirus

Drama as chief, police officers storm church in Kirinyaga over coronavirus

There was a drama at a church in Kirinyaga after a chief stormed into the compound, ordered the congregation to leave and the premises closed over coronavirus.

Faithfuls who had gathered at Kibirigwi Deliverance Church in Ndia constituency were thrown into confusion as the administrators faulted the clergy.

The congregants who had gathered from Nyeri, Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties reportedly refused to leave the church.

This prompted Kiine location chief David Githinji and his two assistants to call the police.

The group led by Rev. Mark Kihara from Kibirigwi Delivalance Church were however adamant that they were educating members on the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were taking all measures but we wonder why chief and police stormed our church,” they said.

However, according to the Kiine chief, they had defied orders from Ngugu-ini assistant chief to avoid large gatherings.

“They later complied after they were sensitized on the importance of keeping social distance and washing hands to prevent spread of coronavirus,” the chief said.

Churches across the country have been announcing closures after the government directed that people should avoid congregating in large numbers to avoid contracting the COVID-19 disease.

The Presbyterian church (PCEA) announced to its 4.5 million members suspension of Sunday services and gatherings, but allowed individuals to access places of worship for private prayers.

All Saints Cathedral Anglican Church has also suspended all Sunday church services and cancelled meetings that were to be held at the premises.

Weddings conducted in exceptional circumstances permitted by the provost, will only be attended by not more than 10 people and last 30 minutes at most.

The Jamia Mosque has also suspended all congregational prayers indefinitely saying the decision was informed by several consultative meetings with a council of scholars (Majlis Ulamaa).

Catholic churches are however not being closed despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our churches are not closing…They will be the focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength from God,” the statement from Catholic Bishops reads.

Priests have been directed to keep masses brief and encourage faithfuls to keep a distance of one metre from each other.