Kenyan Pastors Protest Pay-to-Preach Laws

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

NAIROBI, KENYA (Worthy News)-- Hundreds of Central Kenyan pastors marched to the Nyeri County governor's office last week to protest a proposed bill that would charge clergy for the privilege of preaching in public outside of their own churches, according to World Watch Monitor.

The bill, which is yet to be approved by the governor, stipulates that clergy must pay approximately $117 (US) per day to preach inside a stadium, $93 outside of a stadium and $58 in more rural areas.

Charles Muchiri, a priest at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Ruiru, said that without more funds, the proposed bill would prevent clergy from preaching beyond their own churches.

"The services rendered by the church to the people are free and such a high tax imposition will greatly affect the spreading of the gospel," he said.

Nyeri is not the first Kenyan county to consider surcharges for preaching; Nairobi County proposed a law last year that would charge clergy for the use of public parks for evangelical meetings; clergy could be forced to pay $580 per day to preach from the park's main podium, or $463 from elsewhere in the park.

Under Nairobi's proposed bill, even street preachers would have to pay $29 to pound the pavement.