A member of a Kenyan atheist group has abandoned his leadership post within the organization after finding faith in Jesus Christ, the organization announced.
The group Atheists in Kenya Society revealed on Twitter Saturday that its secretary, Seth Mahiga, “made the decision to resign from his position as Secretary of our society.”
The organization explained that “Seth’s reason for resigning is that he has found Jesus Christ and is no longer interested in promoting atheism in Kenya.”
In a statement, Atheists in Kenya Society President Harrison Mumia extended his best wishes to the group’s former secretary.
“We wish Seth all the best in his new found relationship with Jesus Christ,” Mumia wrote. “We thank him for having served the society with dedication over the last one and half years.”
However, Mumia took a slightly different tone in a Twitter post Sunday.
“It’s a sad day for the Atheists In Kenya Society. Our secretary, Seth Mahiga has resigned saying he’s found Jesus. Lol!”
Dr. Willy Mutunga, the former chief justice of Kenya, responded to that tweet by reminding Mumia that “Article 32(1) of our Constitution provides: Every person has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.” According to Mutunga, “This provision is not a laughing matter.”
On Sunday, Atheists in Kenya Society posted a video of Mahiga announcing his resignation from the group to a congregation of worshipers at Life Church International Nairobi on its Twitter page.
“I’ve been going through some difficulties in life and then I decided to resign as the secretary. So I’m very happy to be here,” he said.
In an extended version of the video, posted on YouTube, the pastor at Life Church International referred to Mahiga as his “brother” and asked him to bow down and say “Jesus is Lord.”
As Mahiga knelt at the front of the church, the congregation erupted into applause.
As Mahiga remained on his knees, the pastor asked the congregation to pray for “all those people who are in darkness and all the atheists who say there is no God.”
He asked that “the grace of God reach out to wherever they are right now in the mighty name of Jesus.”
Atheists in Kenya Society announced on its Facebook page Monday that Emmah Shisoka had assumed the role of secretary. The group, formally registered by the government of Kenya in 2016, works to “transform society into one that values reason, rationality, honesty, clarity, and kindness.”
Initially, the government of Kenya expressed hesitancy about recognizing the Atheists in Kenya Society, citing concerns about the organization’s impact on “the interests of peace and welfare or good order in Kenya.” In 2018, Atheists in Kenya Society demanded that the government declare Feb. 17 “Atheist Day” to recognize the organization’s registration with the Kenyan government.
“Kenyans who do not believe in god or gods deserve a holiday too,” argued Daisy Siongok, the society’s vice president at the time.
As envisioned by Siongok, “Atheist Day” would consist of “Godless Parades in various Countries” and an effort to “increase awareness about atheism in Kenya.” Additionally, she stated that “Atheist Day” would “promote freedom of religion as a human right in Kenya.”
In addition to Mahiga, many other atheists have come forward to share their conversion stories. During an appearance on a podcast earlier this year, Chet Hanks, son of actor Tom Hanks, detailed how an encounter with God during a day hike in Utah when he was 17 led to his conversion from atheism.
Another former atheist, Lee Strobel, wrote an entire book detailing his conversion to Christianity called The Case for Christ. Strobel, a former Chicago Tribune reporter, had initially sought to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ but ultimately failed to do so and ended up becoming a Christian. In 2017, a film adaptation of his popular book was released.