The decision by the leadership of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) to ban a Kikuyu traditional practice has angered members of the community's Council of Elders.
In a statement, PCEA Church said it has banned its followers from taking part in one of Kikuyu community's popular rite known as “Mburi cia Kiama.”
"Mburi cia Kiama" involves slaughtering of goats in fetes where ordinary men from the community are ushered into leadership. During such events, the Kiama (made of elders) offers advice to men on several matters including the Kikuyu culture, marriage and family and community responsibilities.
The ceremony also involve drinking traditional brew known as "Muratina" which the church feels is highly unethical. The Church's leadership arrived at the decision during a general assembly meeting held between April 11th and 14th and was announced in the churches during Sunday services in the weeks that followed.
“The highest body in PCEA church has distanced itself from Mburi Cia Kiama, terming it a negative cultural practice, among other practices like polygamy, female circumcision and witchcraft," read a Facebook post associated with the church as quoted by Daily Nation.
However, Elders drawn from the Community have expressed their discontentment with the orders by the church, terming them a personal attack. Muthoga Kirethi, who is the chairman of Nyeri Kikuyu Council of Elders, termed the ban as unwarranted and misguided.
“That is unwarranted and misguided. We do not rival the church by embracing our culture. In fact, we were born Kikuyu first before we joined the mainstream churches. People can opt to leave a church but you can never stop being Kikuyu,” said Kirethi.