Despite a government ban, Pastor Ezekiel Odero on Sunday defiantly carried on with activities at his New Life Prayer Centre and Church in Kilifi.
The government deregistered the televangelist’s church on May 19, 2023, along with alleged cult leader Paul Mackenzie’s Goodnews International, Bishop Thomas Wahome’s Helicopter of Christ Church, King’s Outreach Church, and Theophilus Church in Nairobi.
On Sunday, however, Pastor Odero and his wife hosted a multitude at his church in Mavueni, Kilifi County.
“We won’t stop going to church because of the government. We will continue to pray and serve God,” said a congregant, Martha Nekesa, as quoted by the Nation.
Business proprietors situated near the church also faulted the government for its decision to revoke the church’s registration.
“I hope the government will take care of the hundreds of families who depend on the pastor for their livelihoods. Why target an innocent man? What mistake has he made? The church wars will affect many people,” said Felistas Muthoki.
Meanwhile, Pastor Odero has since moved to court to appeal the Registrar of Societies’ decision to deregister his ministry.
In legal documents submitted to the Milimani Law Courts, Odero is appealing to have the decision reversed, arguing that it is impeding the freedom of worship for his congregation.
The televangelist claims he was not informed beforehand about the Registrar’s decision to revoke the church’s registration and was denied any chances to present his defense to prevent the deregistration.
“It is increasingly disheartening of the numerous attempts by state organs to persecute me, frustrate my ministry and eventually not only shut down the New Life Prayer Centre & Church but also all my other projects,” says Odero.
Through Lawyer Danstan Omari, Pastor Ezekiel Odero wants the court to suspend the registrar’s directive.