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Bishops of Kenya are concerned about relations with government

In a news conference, bishops raised their voice against government policies that are trying to interfere with and hinder their work in the fields of education and health care, as well as setting great obstacles in front of missionary work.

Bishops of Kenya raised concerns about the government’s relationship with the church at a Nairobi news conference. Bishops accused the government of undermining their authority in governing their institutions. They spoke about a set of issues, such as the cost of missionary work, the state of education, and healthcare.

Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kisumu, leader of the Kenyan bishop’s conference, said

“We are concerned about the deliberate intent to reduce and undermine the role of the Catholic Church, and indeed all faiths as safeguards of morality in society. We especially decry this subversion in the fields of education and health.”

The proposed Education Bill 2024 contains several changes that would change the agreement between the church and government. It would weaken the church’s role in managing church-founded educational institutions. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education now has the sole power to dissolve, merge, convert, or amalgamate private universities, including faith-based ones.

The bishops also discussed the problems with missionary work permits. The permit cost $115, but now it has exceeded $1,100, making it almost ten times higher than before. This extreme increase would likely negatively impact missionary work in the future.

The state of church-run health facilities is also a great concern for the bishops. The Catholic Church operates almost a thousand different medical institutions. According to the bishops, because of the government’s mismanagement of the National Hospital Insurance Fund, the future of healthcare is worrisome. Many church-founded hospitals are crippled because of the lack of funds. Many of them are not able to function properly, give treatment to those in need, or pay their workers and produce medicine.

The bishops praised Kenyans, saying that despite the hardships they have to endure, their resilience and faith stand strong.

Source: UCAnews

Photo: Vatican News

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