Ugandan Pastor Fears Proposed Church Regulations
Pastor Amos Mugabi recently addressed his congregation about a proposed government policy he believes is threatening thousands of churches’ existence.
“The government wants to stop the church from spreading the good news of Christ, and we’ll not let that happen. We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the sake of the gospel,” prayed Mugabi.
If passed by the Ugandan Parliament, the new policy will require all ministers to obtain formal theological training from a recognized institution. Ministers will also be required to register new and existing churches and declare their source of income.
“People in government don’t understand the word of God,” he said. “We have great men in the Bible including Jesus Christ who preached the gospel, but they didn’t have a bachelor’s degree in theology. It’s time we all follow the Bible.”
The current law allows freedom of worship, and individuals can open and operate a church without notifying the government. The new policy seeks to enforce transparency and monetary accountability in religious and faith-based institutions, said officials.
Uganda’s new policy comes a year after neighboring Rwanda closed thousands of churches and dozens of mosques to assert more control over a vibrant religious society.
Pastors of various Pentecostal churches in Uganda have said the proposed policy targets them. They have threatened to go to court if the policy is enacted.