By Njoki Githinji
NAIROBI, JUNE 30, 2020 (CISA)-The Inter-faith Council on the national response to the Coronavirus pandemic has announced that it will soon come up with protocols to guide a safe and phased reopening of places of worship and resumption of religious functions in the country.
“We have developed a working plan that will help us follow a working plan and guidelines of the tasked activities and their implementations,” said Archbishop Anthony Muheria, chairperson of the council in a June 27 press statement.
According to Archbishop Muheria, over 400 religious leaders participated in a consultation with their member bodies to receive input that will inform the development of the guidelines.
“The council has received other presentations by various religious groups and interested persons .We are open to receive any submissions from organized religious groups who can get in touch with our secretariat,” he said.
“Progress has been made to harmonize the views of all religious communities and other representations. These have been cross referenced by the emerging best practices from other parts of the world and other proposals developed by regional consultations held prior to the appointment of the council,” he added.
Expressing the commitment of the council to ensure an open and transparent process in formulating proper guidelines and protocols, the council has invited public participation in the process.
“We invite the public to participate in this process by inviting feedback through sending a memorandum to the council through its e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org to reach the council by the 2nd of July 2020,” he said.
The Archbishop noted that the phased reopening will adhere to guidelines by the Ministry of Health and those that will be represented by the council.
“As we progress and prepare our communities for the phased reopening ,we wish to reiterate one cardinal principle. The safe reopening of the places of worship will depend entirely on our compliance to the current Ministry of Health guidelines and those that this council will represent. We urge all our members and congregants to fully embrace the new normal to prevent the spread of new infections,” he said.
The Inter-faith Council was inaugurated June 17 by government to among other mandates, develop guidelines for reopening of places of worship, resumption of religious functions, sensitization and capacity building of clergy on the guidelines.