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Kenyan bishops pleased with government's decision to withdraw proposed regulations of religious bodies

February 04, 2016

The Catholic bishops' conference of Kenya has applauded the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to withdraw a proposal for the regulation of the country's religious bodies.

The bishops had criticized the proposed regulations as a unwarranted encroachment on religious freedom. While acknowledging the government's legitimate interest in curbing the growth of pseudo-religious groups that work for profit or recruit terrorists, the bishops objected to provisions that would have required registration and audits of all religious groups and government approval of foreign-born ministers. 

After consulting with Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Hindu religious leaders, President Kenyatta said that he would withdraw the proposed regulations. He said that his government would draw up a new proposal, in consultation with the religious leaders, to crack down on abuses without undermining religious freedom. 

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