Church Warns Ruto Against Using Sunday Services For Politics

Muheria commended Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's announcement of continuing to hold church services...

Church Warns Ruto Against Using Sunday Services For Politics
President William Ruto speaking during a church service at Deliverance Church in Ruai, Nairobi County on February 5, 2023. /WILLIAM RUTO

Archbishop Antony Muheria of the Nyeri Catholic diocese on Sunday, February 5 warned President William Ruto against using weekly Sunday services to settle political scores.

Speaking during a Citizen TV interview, Muheria commended Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's announcement of continuing to hold church services every Sunday, until the end of the current term of the Kenya Kwanza government.

However, Muheria warned the Head of State against using praise and worship events as platforms to play politics as has been the case in the recent past where the Head of State responded to numerous offensives by the opposition regarding how they are leading the country.

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Rt. Rev. Antony Muheria. /THE STAR

“I wouldn’t want to judge him, I wouldn’t want to judge his statement but it is very good that they attend church every Sunday for the next part of their lives. Everybody, let’s go to church, let us encounter God but genuinely and honestly and not use that platform for politics.

“We must continue to genuinely say this and call it out to our religious leaders and to our politicians of whatever divide they are that their encounter with God in places of worship must not be used as instruments or platforms for political gain or political messaging,” Muheria stated.

Since being sworn into office on September 13, 2022, the President has been holding various thanksgiving and prayer services during his travels across the country, in various churches in different counties.

Speaking during a church service at Deliverance Church in Ruai, Nairobi County, Gachagua took note of the number of times the critics, as well as the media, counting the number of church services President Ruto has been holding since he took power.

“I have seen our distractors are very concerned that we come to church every Sunday. I read the papers and they said this is your 28th Sunday service since you came to office.

"I want to save them that task of counting, we will be in church for 52 Sundays every year, for the next five years,” Gachagua announced.

The second in command added that prayers were the focal point of William Ruto’s win in the 2022 election and that he would rely on prayers to gain wisdom to steer the country into economic prosperity.

In defence of the National Prayer Rally to be held next Sunday in Nakuru, Gachagua revealed that the county was an important venue for the event because of a promise they made during the 2017 campaigns.

“Nakuru is important, in 2017 Uhuru Kenyatta and you (William Ruto) went to Nakuru and prayed for victory, and you made a commitment that if God gives you the victory, you shall return to Nakuru,” he opined.

However, their promise did not materialise because of the influence of Azimio leader Raila Odinga, whom he claimed had derailed Uhuru into thinking that the promise was not a must, thus failing to return to Nakuru, which contributed to the country's economic crisis.

"However, after March 9 when Raila came to the government, he convinced our former President that prayers were not necessary. We tried to ask him to go to Nakuru to say thank you but he could not hear,” he lamented.

“The country faced unprecedented problems after we cheated God that we will go to say thank you. The country got into an economic crisis, businesses were destroyed, goods were torched, women were evicted from their homes in the night during the pandemic, and brother turned against brother. We are going to Nakuru because God granted us victory in 2022."

He stated that the purpose of the prayer rally was to give thanks to the Lord for the peaceful 2022 elections as well as a smooth transition of power.

On February 2, Gachagua announced that preparations were underway for National Prayers Day which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in the Rift Valley. He further noted that President Ruto will grace the event as well as clergymen from the denominations in Kenya and will lead Kenyans from across the country in the national prayer.

DP Rigathi Gachagua and President William Ruto during a thanksgiving service at the Ole Ntimama Stadium in Narok County on January 29, 2023. /RIGATHI GACHAGUA