Christians are concerned about Kenya’s proposed constitution

By August 26, 2005

Kenya (MNN) — Christians in Kenya are concerned about a new constitution that recognizes Islamic, or Sharia, law in family or religious disputes. However, it doesn’t give jurisdiction in criminal cases.

The new constitution is being drafted for a November vote, says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, is meeting with opposition from Christians for a very good reason. “What the Christians are saying is, ‘Wait a minute, this is a religious court, and we are giving it power in our secular society.’ They don’t give pastors the power to settle disputes or settle criminal matters and yet here they are giving Sharia courts that power.”

Nettleton says Christians have a couple of options before November. “So, the Christians now are evaluating whether, when it comes time to vote, they want to vote for this constitution which would give power to the Sharia courts, or if they want to work and vote against, or at least get it postponed until they can evaluate it further.”

Experience is the core of their concern, says Nettleton. “They have seen just to their north what’s happened in Sudan when the government declared Sharia law there. They see what’s happening in Northern Nigeria where states are moving more and more toward Sharia law. And so they are understandably cautious.”

It’s believed this is the first step toward giving Islam authority and power in a country predominately Christian. Nettleton says, “We know that radical Islam is violently opposed to Christian evangelism, to Christian mission work. I think these Christians in Kenya are saying, ‘You know, we need to be very cautious because we don’t want that to happen here.'”

Prayer is needed. Christians are proposing the Sharia court recognition be omitted from the constitution until Christians and Muslims and discuss this matter.

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