AFRICA/UGANDA - Churches are opposed to the proposed registration of religious denominations

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - After Kenya (see Fides 04/02/2016) Uganda also intends to proceed with the registration of so-called FBO - Faith Based Organizations. A measure, sponsored by the department of Ethics and Religious affairs in the President’s Office, which is strongly contested by the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations.
"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?" His Exc. Mgr. John Baptist Kauta, Secretary General of the Uganda Episcopal Conference asked, who describes this government initiative as suspicious. Mgr. Kauta added that scrutiny needs to be done to establish the real intentions of political authorities to adopt such a measure.
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?".
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. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/04/2016)