Wednesday November 1 2017

Regulate religion to develop country


By Waiswa Kakaire

The government should regulate faith that breeds extremism in the country at the expense of development. The business of free entry and free exit for religion in this country is not helpful. A church or mosque can be built anywhere regardless of the effect it might have on residents or the area. Some of these prayer places open any time be it in the morning, lunch hour, evening and at night. Some conduct open crusades, which sometimes disturb the peace of residents.
Compare this to how cumbersome it is to open or operate a business in the country. This takes advantage of our children and the less advantaged young adults many of whom take time praying most of the time instead of engaging in productive work.

With religious extremism, people lose motivation and quest for education and hard work. This is detrimental to development of our country.
Some religious engagements make one think that they can lose anything for eternity. One can commit suicide, murder while the sick may even reject medication in the name of faith. Other faiths promote sectarianism and hatred in society in the pursuit of please God.

It is also common to find some faiths adopting a specific dressing code, among others for easy identification. They want to be seen as being different from others. We now have Islamic games, Islamic banking, etc. An Adventist, for instance, cannot go to school or even sit examinations on Saturdays. A nurse, who is Adventist, for instance, cannot treat a patient on a Saturday because they spend a whole day praying.

In neighbouring Kenya, a judge could not serve his country on a Saturday at a very critical moment because he is an Adventist. Uganda Christian University Mukono, for example, wants all lecturers at the university to wed.
Besides, religion is killing our cultures as the believers think much of the African ways of life are evil. We need to modernise, but not to completely kill our cultures because it is our culture that makes us different from other people.

It is not wise to allow every faith/sect to operate in the as some of them promote segregation. It seems like there is too much dumping of religion in our society that will be difficult to clear. Religion is a positive moral tool that should be encouraged to take root in society. However, this should not be done at the expense of education and doing hard work.
We also need people who have respect for education, science and research if we are to develop like China. Let us promote unity for all Ugandans and avoid divisive religions.
Waiswa Kakaire,