Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka, the chairperson of Christian Ecumenical Council of Uganda and the head of Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC) Namugongo, has asked the Minister of Ethics and Integrity Fr Simon Lokodo not to use the new policy intended to regulate religions in the country to suppress churches that are still in expansion, in favor of traditional religions.
In a meeting at the Ethics Ministry Offices in Kampala where he led a delegation of Bishops under Evangelical Orthodox Church, Kibuuka asked the minster to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted.
“Most of us broke away from those traditional churches because of suppression so if we are not given chance, we may think that the suppression has also come this side” Kibuuka said.
He added that in the new policy, buildings and structures should not be regarded as a basis for considering in registering a church since there are many true churches which have not constructed buildings.
“Church is not the buildings but in the actual sense church means an individual or a believer”
In response to these views, Minster Lokodo reassured that that the new policy is not aimed at closing churches but regulating their operations.
“This new policy is all about bringing together various religious affiliations with a view of ensuring peace and accountability”
The minister added that with this new policy, fake pastors who ride posh cars yet their followers are languishing in poverty, those stopping the sick from getting medical care and the rest will be no more.
Lokodo also promised to continue consulting with various stakeholders in this line so that wherever there is need for an amendment, is done before the final draft.
The new policy has already received backlash from a number of Pentecostal church heads, who claim that it’s not needed at this time, and was brought without engaging them.