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Interfaith Council Chair Archbishop Anthony Muheria during a briefing Saturday June 27, 2020. Photo: Twitter

Inter-faith Council set to release guidelines for phased reopening of places of worship.

The Inter-faith council under the leadership of Archbishop Rev. Anthony Muheria is now set to release guidelines on the reopening of places of worship within the next one week.

In a statement released Saturday June 27, the Council’s chairperson Rev Anthony Muheria said the mandate of the Council, among, others is developing guidelines for safe phased re-opening of places of worship, developing guidelines on celebration of weddings, funerals and other religious ceremonies.

The council says it is also developing a program for creating public awareness and capacity building among the religious leaders on the new guidelines.

“We have worked out and developed a working plan that will help us follow a working plan and guidelines of the tasked activities and their implementation,” Muheria said in the statement.

Rev Muheria added that the council felt there was a need to hold consultative meetings with representatives of all religious communities in the country to receive input which will inform the guidelines.

“The Council has received other presentations by various religious groups and interests persons. We are open to receive any submissions form organized religious groups who can get in touch with our secretariat,” Muheria added.

The council further said progress has been made in harmonizing the views of all the religious communities and other presentations.

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.

“We invite the public to participate in this process by inviting feedback through sending a memorandum to the council through its email address to reach the Council by July 2, 2020,” he said.

To ensure the eventual guidelines are in tandem with the faith traditions and the input received, the council will conduct 10 regional meetings for validation.

“We also commit to ensure that this is an open and transparent process and thus have opened a Twitter account for updates on the Council’s activities @InterfaithC2020.”

The Council also called for patience among Kenyans as it concludes the development of the guidelines and hopes to have Interim Guidelines and Report within the next week.

“The safe reopening of the places of worship will depend on our compliance to the current MoH 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 government announced the closure of places of worship weeks after Kenya reported the first case of Coronavirus as a way of curbing the spread of the disease, a move that was sharply criticized by religious leaders.

The leadership involved has been pushing for the re-opening of the same, but government has still been reluctant as the Covid-19 numbers continue to soar in the country.