A Kenyan town, Narok County, has banned churches from holding vigils as authorities say churches are to blame for the rising statistics of early pregnancies among teenagers in the area.
The County Commissioner, George Natembeya, issued the ban on night prayers after linking them to early motherhood. He told Citizen TV that in March 2018, 17 girls from Suswa Girls Secondary School in Narok County were found to be pregnant. The same town, in 2004 suspended street preaching unless sanctioned by police.
Natembeya’s directive has led to mixed reactions from the people, while some believe the government was right to protect young girls, others felt the directive infringed on their right to worship.
Samuel Nganga, a resident of Nairobi said: “This is ridiculous, I don’t understand how prayers at night can be related to immorality, I think the county commissioner has done no research. Do not provoke God in Narok, it might just bounce back on you. Don’t try.”
“Narok Pastors kindly plan a ‘Kesha’ (popular word used to refer to night prayers) at the Narok stadium and invite the county commissioner. This is one of the many ways of fighting Christ, but GOD is able in fighting his wars, have an eye on this, the one who banned ‘Kesha’ prayers will not be the one to uplift the ban,” Nicholas Muendo, a resident of Machakos who spoke with Uganda Christian News.
James Ndiga said, “I started attending night prayers in my teens and have never heard people getting babies in the morning, the only place Kenyans feel more secure is in the church.
This is the second country in Kenya to announce such a ban. In 2014, Police in Malindi, a town on Malindi Bay, in southeastern Kenya banned night prayers purporting they had become avenues for extortion, according to Daily Nation.