Kaziimba renews charge to save souls and bodies

Archbishop of Church of Uganda Stephen Kazimba Mugalu (right) accompanied by Ankole Diocese Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa (centre) tour a vanilla farm in Kashari,Mbarara District, at the weekend. Photo / Rajab Mukombozi

What you need to know:

  • Archbishop Kaziimba, who is in Ankole Diocese for a three-day pastoral visit, at the weekend said while the church has done better on spiritual ministry, it remains lacking on economic transformation.

Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has asked religious leaders to focus on getting Christians out of poverty for holistic development.

Archbishop Kaziimba, who is in Ankole Diocese for a three-day pastoral visit, at the weekend said while the church has done better on spiritual ministry, it remains lacking on economic transformation.

“We are celebrating 60 years since the Church of Uganda got its first Archbishop, we have since been doing well in preaching the gospel but in the area of development and self support, we have been poor,” the Archbishop said.

“From the projects I have seen in Ankole Diocese, it’s very possible to be economically independent,” Archbishop Kaziimba said.

He said a self-supporting and sustainable church will spur the growth of the gospel by not burdening Christians for offerings .

“Jesus came so that we should have life in abundance, but this can’t be possible when preaching to poor people. That is why my mission now is to ensure that every diocese has projects that bring in money like what Ankole Diocese is doing,” Archbishop Kaziimba said.

He added: “We have Church land across the country but we are keeping it idle for land grabbers, let us utilise it for developmental projects as this diocese has done.”

The archbishop said the development projects in Ankole include coffee, vanilla growing and livestock farming, commercial buildings in Mbarara city, the Millennium Development Sacco and Church-community agriculture projects.

“I am thrilled by what Ankole Diocese is doing in terms of development, the Millennium Sacco is a testimony that we can have our own bank, so are the commercial buildings, household income projects. The church can have a complete ministry that is self-sustaining and economically empowers Christians, ” he said.

The Kashari South MP in Mbarara, Mr Nathan Itungo, said a poor Church chases away Christians.

“You have heard of challenges like the Church House loan from Equity Bank the Church is trying to service, if the Church was economically independent, this challenge could not have come but a poor church becomes a burden to Christians and at times this keeps away people from associating with it,” he said.

The Mbarara Woman MP, Ms Margaret Rwebyambu, said the government should support the Church since it commands a big following.

Ankole Diocese Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa said a begging church hinders the spread of the gospel.

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