Our Vision, Values and History
AIK’s vision is to transform society into one that values reason, rationality, honesty, clarity, and kindness. We actively promote atheism, naturalism, and the separation of church and state. We seek to increase wellbeing and help people make better decisions. We look forward to forging alliances as we equip members, partners, and the community with the tools needed to bring about human flourishing.
Reason: Reason and cooperation are essential to meeting the challenges that confront humankind.
Compassion: Human compassion and empathy are crucial to improving the human condition.
Purpose: The life that all creatures have is precious and has value, as this life is the only life we know we will have.
Empiricism: Our ethics and values are evidence-based. We rely on what we can sense and measure in the natural world. We make our conclusions based on the best evidence, and change our conclusions accordingly as new evidence becomes known.
Science: Science is the best tool we have for seeking truth and understanding our world.
Knowledge: We value knowledge and hold the endeavor to increase it as best we can in order to pursue the truths about our world to be one of the noblest efforts one can make; and any and all efforts to stifle or denigrate knowledge and learning to be immoral.
Progress: We believe in modernity and progress and the ability of humankind to develop a better world based on reason.
Freedom: We hold that all people have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and that all people are entitled to freedom of conscience. We support the values outlined in the International Convention of Human Rights as inalienable human rights.
Ethics: We believe that ethics and morality evolve over time as we better understand our world and the consequences we cause in it. Do not intentionally hurt other beings except in self-defense.
Responsibility: We are responsible for humane interaction with other people, other animals and for the preservation of our habitable planet.
In 2014, a group of young skeptical Kenyans conceptualized the idea of a non-religious association in Kenya. They used to hold meetings every week in Nairobi to discuss topics around free-thought, secularism and atheism. Amongst them was Ssemakula Mukiibi, Brenda Chepkorir, Zack Wanambwa, Beatrice Mwikya, Ellen Mical, Elizabeth Gichimu and Harrison Mumia.
As the group become bigger, two factions emerged. On one hand was the Free Thinkers Initiative Kenya led by Ssemakula Mukiibi, while on the other hand was the Atheists In Kenya which was led by Harrison Mumia. In 2016, Harrison Mumia decided to register the Atheists In Kenya Society.
Harrison Mumia had been pushing for nearly a year for legal recognition of the Atheists In Kenya Society. That recognition was denied twice, once on the grounds that the group’s activities oppose Kenya’s constitution, and once on the grounds that the group doesn’t promote peace and good order.
In February 17th, 2016, the government finally issued AIK with it’s certificate of registration . The group received the certificate on April 7, nearly a year after it first applied. It’s not clear why there was a gap between the formal recognition date and the group’s receipt of the certificate.
Nearly a month later, on April 30, the attorney general, the then Prof. Githu Muigai released a statement suspending the organization’s registration, citing complaints from religious organizations.
Harrison Mumia moved to Court and in 2018, the Court quashed the suspension of the society.
Mission and objectives
The Atheists In Kenya Society strives to create an environment where atheism and atheists are accepted as members of our nation’s communities and where casual bigotry against our community is seen as abhorrent and unacceptable. We promote understanding of atheists through education, outreach, and community building and work to end the stigma associated with being an atheist in Kenya.
Our mission is to promote the growth and interaction of atheists in Kenya.
We aim to make the road to authenticity, openness, and honesty about the things we believe and don’t believe by ensuring that the voices of atheists are always heard in communities throughout Kenya, in politics, and in the media.
By working with our partners within the atheist movement and across the world where we can find common ground, the Atheists In Kenya Society fights to improve public policy for all Kenyans, protect real religious freedom by defending the wall of separation between religion and government, and promote the acceptance and understanding of atheists.
By using every tool available to us, including our nation’s legal system, political advocacy, and outreach campaigns, Atheists In Kenya Society works to advance atheism in Kenya and Africa.