13 February 2019 | An appeals court in Kenya has ruled that Adventist students cannot be forced to attend classes or take exams on the Sabbath. The decision of the three-judge panel on Friday, 8 February, was announced today by KTN television news across the central African nation.
The constitution of Kenya protects the religious rights of citizens and under this provision, the court decided that the Ministry of Education regulations that require attendance on Saturdays despite the religious beliefs of the students are unconstitutional. The case began in 2013 and Pastor Charles Abebe, an Adventist minister, appeared in the television news story stating the thanks of Adventist believers for the protection of religious rights by the court under the Kenya constitution.
The television news story also reported the concern of the Attorney General’s office that the decision may result in problems as other religions seek similar protections. For example, Muslim students may want to be out of school on Fridays.
If the decision is appealed by the Ministry of Education to the Supreme Court of Kenya it is unclear if Chief Justice David K. Maraga will recuse himself because of conflict of interest. He is an Adventist, but of course is not currently a student or an educational administrator.
This story is based on reporting from Tysan, the Adventist Today reporter based in Africa. If you have information or questions for Tysan, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include his name in the subject line.