The President of Atheists of Kenya, who is the 39-year-old Harrison Mumia, spoke out on atheism within Kenya. Mumia came from a devout, religious family, where they went to church, were baptised, and attended Bible Studies with the other families.
At the age of 24, as a university student, something happened for Mumia, which he explains with a laugh, “Nothing happened to make me stop believing. I wasn’t walking one day and ‘saw the light’.”
Harrison found that the questions on creation, faith, God, and ethics were simply too many and too big for the contents of the religious texts, e.g. the Bible, to suffice for an explanation for those numerous, large concerns and questions that Mumia found in the faith.
Harrison sought answers in the sciences. He found that these explanations from natural philosophy were simply more convincing than the answers provided by revelation and religious authorities.
Harrison became an atheist after the internal conflict between faith and religion was resolved. He considers the question of God and moral separate, where the idea of God as necessary for ethical life and behaviour is simply a non-starter.
Moral values exist independent of the idea of God. This would extend to the whole Biblical canon of characters with the Devil not as being at work in the world and man not as the source of evil because sin, God, and the Devil are fictions.
He does not believe that God created the world from nothing. Another Kenyan atheist, Kwamboka, with the same questions and thoughts said, “I don’t believe in God. There is no evidence that He is there. I’d rather spend my Sundays teaching my children a craft, playing with them, being there for them.”
Kwamboka has children and she is 31-years-old, but her children do not attend church and know what they know about religion from their lessons in school, even though she went to a church and came from another devout, religious family.
She thinks the Bible left her with more questions and contradictions than answers, where neither of these, especially combined together, made things easier. She views the Bible read with a critical mind as an antidote to religious faith because the massive number of type of questions and doubts that will be raised. But many Kenyans are afraid to ask around about these things.
If you look at the demographics of Kenya: “31.9 million Christians, 4.3 million Muslims (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics).”
The atheist community is growing more in Kenya. “Atheism is slowly gaining ground. Consider the WIN-Gallup survey that found that those [people] claiming to be religious dropped by 9 per cent worldwide while atheism rose by 3 per cent compared to when they carried the poll in 2005,” Okello explained, “The number of atheists in Kenya rose from 0 percent to 2 per cent (South Africa was the only African country with a marked drop in religion, the number religious people dropping from 83 to 64 percent).”
Photo Credits: Nairobi Wire