Khat is classified as a drug of abuse that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence. It’s a controlled/illegal substance in many countries. The uses and effects read like the bad rap of any other drug. Long term use or abuse can cause insomnia, anorexia, gastric disorders, depression, liver damage and cardiac complications. Delusional and manic behavior has also been reported. As such, it would be expected of the church to discourage chewing of khat on the same token it does smoking or drinking beer.
Not so in this story from Meru. It’s difficult for anyone, not even religion to come between the Ameru and the only cash crop they’ve known for generations. In a case of tradition versus modern religion, some churches accept khat as an offering and later sell it to the faithful.
The Khat story aside, the Church has come a long way. I recall a time back in the village when Churches used to hold fund raisings but never once invited local bar owners or anyone selling things considered anti-church. Likewise, faithful who owned shops were not allowed to stock cigarettes. Not any more. In my local church there is a whole row of pews donated by the owner of a prominent night club. The money is no longer dirty.