UGANDA: Catholics, Anglicans Oppose Bill Regulating Churches

KAMPALA APRIL 5, 2016(CISA)-The Catholic and Anglican churches have opposed the Faith Based Organizations (FBO) policy sponsored by the department of Ethics and Religious affairs in the President’s Office.

Msgr John Baptist Kauta, the secretary general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, described the policy as suspicious, adding that scrutiny needs to be done to establish the intentions.

“If what we are doing is good, then why should we be registered? Why should a faith that has been in existence for centuries need an operation license?” Msgr Kauta asked.

Speaking while discussing the policy at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently, the church leaders wondered the intention of the government in bringing up such policies.

Bishop Macleord Baker Ochola, member of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) in Uganda, wondered how a 30-year-old government would regulate religions that have been in existence for centuries.

“Why should a child tell a father how to lead a family? We have been here for decades. What is the logic behind registering well known religions,” Bishop Ochola wondered.

Rev Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the director of religious affairs in the President’s Office however cited the objectives of the policy as mediation and arbitration of religious disputes in the country, help in fighting corruption, increase relationship between government and FBOs, among others reported The Monitor April 3.

FBO policy seeks to re-register all religious sects in the country, establish a committee that will vet FBOs and award operation certificates for starting up a church.

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