PCEA bars members from partaking in the Kikuyu rite known as “Mburi cia Kiama”

A Kikuyu elder at a psst event. []

A bitter row is simmering between the leadership of Presbyterian Church of East Africa and its worshipers after barring them from partaking in Kikuyu traditional rites around Mt Kenya region.

The Church categorically asked its members to keep away from the rite known as “Mburi cia Kiama” which basically involves slaughtering of goats in ceremonies where ordinary men are ushered into eldership.

The kiama (group) offers advice to men on the Kikuyu culture, marriage and community responsibilities.

The order was deliberated during a general assembly meeting held from April 11 to 14 and communicated to churches during Sunday service in the weeks that followed..

PCEA worshipers have been left sharply divided in light of the order, some supporting it while other rubbish it.

Such cultural practices among the Agikuyu involve slaughtering goats and drinking a traditional brew for those who drink, which PCEA leadership feels is highly unethical.

“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 in part a statement from the church as quoted by Daily Nation.

Elders drawn from Mt Kenya region have voiced their discontentment with the said orders terming them a personal attack.

Nyeri county chair of the Kikuyu Council of Elders, Muthoga Kirethi said their role as elders do not in any way rival religion and as such, the order by the church was an affront to them.

“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.

PCEA General Assembly Moderator Julius Mwamba steered clear of the issue saying he will address it further after one week.