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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,12TH AUG 2019- Two days after worshipers were blocked from entering into the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church in Nairobi, the church’s leadership has denied reports of alleged existence of leadership wrangles
Flanked by the SDA Central Kenya Conference (CKC) president John Kiragu ,the church leaders told reporters on Monday d that the purported dispute involved members of the Nairobi Cosmopolitan Conference Limited (NCC) who had also been doubling up as Nairobi Central SDA Church members.
These alleged members were allegedly struck off the church register but moved to court where their petition was dismissed after they failed to prove that they had exhausted internal dispute resolution mechanisms.
“As of now they are not members of the SDA faith and no amount of intimidation will coerce the church into negotiating with strangers,” read the statement from Pastor. John Kiragu .
Pastor. Ngunyi also condemned the police officers’ actions saying there was no court order or legal notice barring the church members from worshiping at the venue.
“We are concerned by the fact that police action was skewed in favor of the aggressors as a person’s right of worship cannot be abridged by the threat of other parties to break the law,” he stated.
“It is indeed the duty of the police to protect worshipers exercising their rights, rather than block the worshipers from exercising their right, on the basis that some third party may break the law.”
The CKC head also expressed disappointment at remarks by Nairobi County Commissioner Flora Mworoa ordering the closure of the Nairobi SDA Church over the alleged wrangles.
“The church is deeply concerned with the suspicious significant access to state security machinery by the aggressors, which they seem to use to curtail freedom of worship,” added Pst. Ngunyi.
“We will seek appropriate intervention to ensure our religious liberties are respected and protected.”
Instability has in the recent past been witnessed at the church since the leadership announced the excommunication of 15 members who were linked to previous chaos at the church.
In a letter dated August 9, 2019 and addressed to all pastors of SDA churches, the CKC executive office which oversees operations cautioned preachers and members of the church against associating with the expelled members.
They further expressed concern about increased cases of fracas and unrest in the church which they said were caused by a section of rowdy members. Pastor Kiragu has also stated that the few characters bend on causing disturbance will not be tolerated.