The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected religious activities throughout Kenya. However, in line with the government directives to beat the virus, religious leaders are inventing unique ways to worship, while reducing the risk of exposure to the lethal virus. In this radio interview, Ali Atham Said discusses the topic in the local language of Swahili, and demonstrated why it is so critical to practice religious tolerance, especially during this time.
In a bid to continue addressing the emerging issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Religious Minority Project (RMP) Partners have realigned some of their activities and repurposed available funds to address the coronavirus pandemic. In one such activity, RMP consortium partner Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) is organising Radio programs (live shows and recorded) with lwith faith-based leaders (Muslims, Christians, ATR, local community influencers, government officials, etc.) to raise awareness and sensitize the public COVID-19. This information includes informing of safety measures, countering misinformation and myths around the coronavirus and to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights during the pandemic including collective punishments, arbitrary arrests, etc. targeting help-less, vulnerable and marginalized communities.
The Network together with MUHURI, Islamic Relief Kenya (IRK), The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and Tangaza University College is currently implementing a project “Religious minorities in Kenya: Overcoming divides, respecting rights.” The objective of the project is to address the problems affecting the full enjoyment of rights by the Muslim minority and the African Traditional Religions (ATR) communities in Kenya, arising from mistrust and malpractice by the State authorities, misunderstandings with other faith-communities, and limited knowledge of constitutional rights, including gender equality. The project supports dialogue across faith groups, and between minority faith groups and state institutions, to positively influence the policies and their implementation concerning minorities’ rights. The project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD).