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Worshippers locked out of Nairobi Central SDA

Saturday August 10 2019

Nairobi Central SDA Church (Maxwell)

Police bar worshippers from accessing Nairobi Central SDA Church (Maxwell) on August 10, 2019. PHOTO | ELVIS ONDIEKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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The leadership of the Nairobi Central Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church on Saturday protested a move by police to close of their place of worship without notice.

The church’s associate pastor Peter Nyagah termed it an affront to freedom of worship.

“Our Constitution is under trial,” he told journalists outside the church.

FREEDOM

“We believe that we have freedom of association and worship. This is religious liberty at test, but because of what has happened, we are citizens who abide by the laws, we want not to cause any chaos,” he added.

Early Saturday, a contingent of police officers deployed to the church had their lorry parked outside Nairobi Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church the gate.

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Armed officers in uniform and others in plain clothes, including those with dogs, patrolled various areas of the church as they inspected the vehicles going in and out of the church premises.

The officers blocked worshippers from entering the church, in what was believed to be a move aimed at preventing a melee because earlier in the week, a group of 15 members had been excommunicated from the the SDA Church “following the chaos they have been causing at Nairobi Central SDA Church.”

SERIOUS ISSUES

Mr Sammy Masara, a retired journalist, is among the 15 in the list issued by the president of the Central Kenya Conference, Pastor John Kiragu.

Mr Masara told the Nation that the closure was necessary to give them time to iron out the disagreements in the church.

“The closure is just like forced action to force agenda for negotiating on those very serious issues,” he said.  

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