Ruto says he's determined to make Kenya a God-fearing state

Ruto says he's determined to make Kenya a God-fearing state

First Lady Rachel Ruto (L) and President William Ruto (R) during a prayer service at State House, Nairobi, on September 25, 2022. | PHOTO: PCS

President William Ruto said on Sunday he will work with members of the clergy and other religious leaders to make sure Kenya is a God-fearing state.

“I assure bishops and all other religious leaders that this will be a government that respects all religions and we will work with all church leaders and those from other religions to make sure Kenya is a God-fearing nation,” he told the congregation at an interdenominational service in Kapsabet, Nandi County.

The Head of State told clergymen in attendance that Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has already set up a committee that will engage them to ensure religious-affiliated institutions are run effectively.

“Every institution affiliated with religious bodies work with the government to determine who leads them. We will ensure you occupy a place of prestige in that regard,” he said.

The subject of religion in President Ruto’s administration has caused debate since he took over from his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, who notably avoided speaking a lot about the matter.

Some religious leaders, among them All Saints Cathedral Provost Sammy Wainaina, have criticised the Kenya Kwanza administration for what they see as praying for Kenyans instead of actually serving them.

President Ruto’s, who says he was prayed into victory last year, held a National Prayer Day event at the Nyayo Stadium on February 14 in an effort to ask for God’s intervention in bringing rain and blessings to the country.

After the event, First Lady Rachel Ruto, herself another ‘prayer warrior’, told farmers across the nation to till their farms before the onset of rains, which she assured were around the corner.

Mrs Ruto said God had heard the nation's cries and that the situation was about to change in no time, and even referred to the scattered afternoon clouds saying it was a sign of the answered prayers.

Second Lady Dorcas Rigathi has also been quoted giving hope to Kenyans amid the biting drought, saying “as a pastor, I know there is God who will intervene and bring rains.”

'Church comes back to the centre of Kenyan politics'

At the same time, the president has held a number of interdenominational prayer sessions ever since he ascended to the presidency, drawing criticism from a section of Kenyans who feel that the church should remain independent and separate from political affairs.

But while his critics say he is sidelining non-Christian Kenyans, President Ruto maintains that through his activities, the church has finally rediscovered its place in the country's political scene after a long time.

Ruto argues that the church has for the longest time taken a back seat in the country's political affairs, but that the clergy is slowly making a comeback.

“Watu wengi waliodunisha neno la Mungu wakakejeli kanisa la Mungu, wakajifanya ati kuna Deep State mpaka kanisa ikaanza kuogopa, but today I am happy that the church has come back to the centre of Kenyan politics,” he told the crowd during last month's prayer rally.


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