Jan, 22nd 2021 – Drama unfolded last Sunday Morning in Yala, Siaya county, after a group of angry faithful broke into the house of God to fellowship. The Anglican Church of Kenya St. Paul Parish had been locked by the clergy two weeks ago following an alleged leadership dispute.
The Church’s Archdeacon, Edward Otieno Onyango, is reported to have sent a lay reader to purchase 4 padlocks and lock the church. The worshipers claim, they were neither made aware nor consulted before the church was locked, yet constitutionally the church belongs to the laity.
They had assembled outside the church by 6:30 am with a hacksaw and a steel bar ready to forcibly access the premises.
At around 8am, they broke the padlock at the gate taking down three more at the main entrance of the church. They later then took down two more padlocks in a bid to gain access to the building.
The choir was singing to cheer the angry before they entered the church. The group dusted the seats, opened the windows and continued with the Sunday service as other people walked into the premises.
According to the vice chairman of the laity, Odongo Onyango, the church is being taken away from them. He accused the Archdeacon and Lay Evangelist Judith Magutha of locking them out of church on the 5th of January 2021.
According to reports, the clergy put additional padlocks to the ones they had earlier on the 12th of January, permanently locking church members out. This was done with authority from the Diocesan Bishop as was confessed to the Officer Comanding Yala Police Station (OCS)