President Museveni Reveals Why He ‘Opposes’ Minister Lokodo Law On Pastors

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Pastor Jessica Kayanja bows greets President Museveni as Pastors Robert Kayanja, Joseph Sserwada and Lwere look on

On Monday, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni met pastors, evangelists and other Pentecostal leaders at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in the capital Kampala.

During the meeting, Museveni addressed a range of issues from the proposed law on the regulation of pastors, traditional religions and wealth creation among Uganda’s christian community.

BELOW IS HIS FULL ADDRESS

At the Pastors and Evangelists conference at Lugogo today, I opined that Christians must be an example when it comes to wealth creation and curbing poverty. Pastors must help us and teach the people how to transition from subsistence to commercialised farming. I am glad that Kayanja (Robert) and Lwere (Joshua) are emphasising this to their congregation.

Pastor Robert Kayanja (2nd L) talks to Museveni during the meeting on Monday

In the 1960s and 1950s there was disorientation in the church. In the bible, God talked of the sparrows that don’t work but are fed by God. So Christians thought they would do nothing because God would feed them. I opposed them. At the very beginning of the bible, those birds of the air were creatures created. God created us in his own image and commanded us to produce and establish dominion over nature. We must therefore work.

READ ALSO: President Museveni To Uganda Pastors: Go Slow On Traditional Religions, Engage Them

The bible says, let light so shine forth that men will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:15). How can a Christian be a light when her kids in the village are in rags, is it bringing glory to God? Does this verse only refer to spiritual or physical things? We, therefore, need to be examples, spiritually and in temporal matters. I am ready to work with you to actualise this.

NRM did not come for the rich, I never went to the bush because of Madhvani. I found him around and he was already rich. It is the people who did not have, that were our burden and so we went to the bush to fight for them.

On the issue of freedom of worship, in 1986, there was a campaign to stop ebiwempe churches. They put a lot of pressure on me. When they brought it to me, I told them that Jesus said, ‘if he is not against us, he is with us.'(Mark9:38-41). The Christians were not against us, so I left them.

On the issue of traditional religions. Christians should not condemn other religions. They must be patient, humble, engage with these traditional people. I was able to engage with some of them and not fight with them. It didn’t take long for me to convince them that some of these things they thought or were doing were wrong.

On the Lokodo proposed policy to have all religious leaders undergo theological studies, we shall sit down with different religious leaders and biblically discuss the issue. Simon Peter had never been to a seminary. He was just a fisherman who was called by Jesus to stop fishing. St. Paul who prosecuted the church was also changed.

This is the foundation of the church. I don’t see the big issue here. Of course in the Church of Uganda and Catholic church, they would train people. However, we will thoroughly discuss this. Should we emphasise rituals and formalisation or do we take advantage of God’s calling on people’s lives? When they brought me a death penalty to sign for Rwakasisi, I went alone and prayed to God to guide me.

A section of pastors cheer Museveni during his address on Monday

Christians must also seek to overcome selfishness and follow the commandments that Jesus summarised for them; love the Lord your God with all heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. This will be the basis for which they will be judged.

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