On Tuesday, January 28, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church in Nairobi, Kenya, publicly gave thanks to the group Atheists In Kenya (AIK) for their actions. Earlier in the month, seventeen students from SDA families had been suspended from their high school as punishment for missing a mandatory exam.
The test was on a Saturday. The SDA families were in church.
AIK wants Kenya to be a secular society where no one religion rules over others. They sent a letter of protest to the high school and one to the Nairobi News newspaper, threatening legal action on the students’ behalf.
The school relented and rescinded the suspensions. The item doesn’t mention retaking the exams.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) has appreciated the support it received from the Atheists in Kenya that saw 17 students associated with the church who had been suspended on religious grounds allowed back to school.
In a letter seen by Nairobi News, Mr Arap Too an SDA church elder recognized the efforts made by AIK President Harrison Mumia in ensuring that the students are allowed back to school.
“Our pastor, elders and the entire leadership of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Syokimau Airport view wish to most sincerely thank you for showing solidarity with our members who are learners at Kabianga High School in Kericho County,” Too said in the letter.
According to the letter, the 17 students, who were suspended after they refused to take examinations on Sabbath Day, had already been accepted back to the school.
AIK, through Mr Mumia, had written to the school asking the principal to respect the student’s right to worship and allow them back to school or he would sue the school.
“Religious freedoms must be protected. The cultural majority should be prevented from denying others freedom of worship and belief,” he said.
This is the behaviour of most atheists, not eyebrow raising. Aside from atheists driven by ideology, most aren’t anti-religious, we just want theists to keep it to themselves.
According to the registration page of the Atheists In Kenya website, they are also Intersectional:
Atheists In Kenya Society membership is open to all — whether you’re an atheist, theist, agnostic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, scientist, humanist, free thinker, pantheist, historian, philosopher, feminist, secularist or human rights activist you belong here. We’ve been around since 2013. We are Kenya’s largest and only atheist society. We are a community that cares about science, humanism, secularism and discovery. We reject the notion that religion is a pre-condition for morality.
The AIK sound like good people doing good work. Below the fold are two more Nairobi News items (from 2018) about the AIK.