Lifting of the Ban on the Registration of Churches and Religious Organizations in Kenya
It has been eight (8) years since registration of churches and religious organizations was banned.
The then Attorney General Prof.Githu Muigai, through a Moratorium on 11th November 2014 barred registration of religious organizations pending gazettement of new regulation to govern churches and religious organizations. This move was observed by many as a violation of freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion as embodied under Article 32 of the Constitution. Some of the reasons advanced for the ban were the need for streamlining of the operations of churches with a view to curb radicalization and other alleged illegal activities in churches. Further it was intended to prescribe qualifications and standards of conduct for religious leaders and to provide a framework for inspection and oversight over religious organizations and churches.
Registration of Churches and religious organizations is primarily governed by the provisions of Societies Act and specifically section 9 of the Act and rule 2 of the Societies Rules 1968.
Recently the office of Attorney General has lifted the ban and published additional administrative guidelines in respect to the registration of religious societies. The guidelines published in the notice hereunder attempt to a degree to enforce order in the religious sector and address the issues flagged at the time of issuing of the ban.
The PUBLIC NOTICE in respect to the said new administrative guidelines is set out below for your perusal
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Written By: Miriam MUGO – Senior Associate & Wahu Wambugu – Legal Assistant