The Atheists in Kenya Society has welcomed remarks by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance Presidential candidate Raila Odinga that Christianity has been unnecessarily elevated over other religions in the country.
In a statement, Harrison Mumia, President of Atheists in Kenya Society, said that Europeans used the excuse of Christianity to exploit Africa, by portraying the African traditional religion as inferior.
"We welcome remarks by the Azimio Coalition Presidential candidate, Hon. Raila Odinga that Christianity has been elevated above all other religions, thanks to colonialism. Christianity was one justification that European powers used to colonize and exploit Africa. Through the dissemination of Christian doctrine, European nations undermined African culture," said Mumia.
"For a long part of our history, African traditional religion and indigenous cultures were seen as inferior, barbaric, and backward. It is time we reformed our education system so that future generations can appreciate African traditional religion and culture as part of our history. We would like to remind all political parties in Kenya that Kenya is a Secular State. Freedom of conscience and belief is enshrined in our Constitution (Article 8 & 32). Citizens have the right to believe or not as they wish, and to fulfil the requirements of their beliefs individually or collectively, provided they are not infringing on the rights of others," said Mumia.
Speaking early this week, Raila said that under his administration, the notion of having some religions as superior to others will come to an end.
"There is a colonial ideology in Kenya that elevated Christianity above all other religions. My government will end that. Kenya is a secular society and we will respect all religions," Raila said.
The government estimates as of 2019 approximately 85.5 percent of the total population is Christian and 11 percent Muslim. Groups constituting less than 2 percent of the population include Hindus, Sikhs, Baha'is, and those adhering to various traditional religious beliefs.
It is estimated that there are more than 4,000 registered churches in Kenya, belonging to an innumerable variety of religious denominations. They can range from very mainstream churches to lesser-known evangelical and gospel offshoots.