April 5, 2014

​Kenya: Christian Leaders Oppose Polygamy Bill

 ©2014 Religion News Service

Christian leaders are appealing to Kenya President
Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign into law a proposed new marriage bill that legalizes

Legislators passed the law after an intense
debate that saw women members of Parliament storm out in protest. The bill’s
passage followed an amendment to the existing marriage legislation to allow men
to marry as many women as they want. It awaits Kenyatta’s signature to become

But the National Council of Churches of Kenya,
the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya,
have rejected it, saying the law will undermine Christian principles of
marriage and family.

The Peter Karanja, general secretary the Kenyan
church council, said the bill demeans women and fails to respect the principle
of spouses’ equality in marriage. “We urge the president not to sign it until
the offensive clauses are removed,” Karanja told a news conference on March 26.

Meanwhile the Evangelical Alliance warned, if
passed, the law will contribute to the erosion of marriage and the continued
spread of HIV infections.

“We cannot ensure fidelity with such a law,” said
Bishop David Oginde, the head of Christ is the Answer Ministries, a member of
the alliance. “The Bible is clear that an ideal marriage is between one man and
one woman.”