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‘Clampdown on churches in Rwanda a wake up call for Uganda’

Apostle Tumwine Charles

“Much as you have the calling, you need preparation.”

The above statement was made by Apostle Charles Tumwine on Sunday as he shared with Dr Joseph Serwadda why the clampdown on Churches in Rwanda should be a wake up call for Pastors in Uganda.

Apostle Tumwine was quick to note the essence of the Born Again Faith Federation, stating that what they have always emphasized is orderliness.

“How do you prepare for pastoral ministry? You might have felt the calling and are on fire. You have probably sent five (5) years in pastorship.  What can you do to upgrade yourself and become better. If what is happening in Rwanda come to Uganda, would you survive?” Tumwine, who heads New Life Harvest church international asked.

About 714 churches – majorly born again Churches – in Rwanda have been shut down in the last two weeks over hygiene, safety, noise pollution and lack of origins.

According to a proposed new law, all preachers must have theological training before opening a church.

Government official Justus Kangwagye told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that they simply required the churches to meet “modest standards”.

Speaking during a press conference held at RGB on 19th February 2018, Prof Anastase Shyaka, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) told journalists that the decision to review laws and develop new guidelines for Faith Based organisations was prompted by continued irregularities observed in operations and complaints from the general public.

“Some churches conduct their worship services in shoddy and unclean structures; to the detriment of people’s health and safety. Cases of noise pollution have also been reported while some operate without the required operation permits,” Prof Shyaka said.

He added: “Some Churches are torn apart by internal wrangles, this should not continue.”

In his submission, Dr Serwada urged that Uganda authorities often susceptible to adapting policies from her neighbors.

“What Kagame did is not easy to move past,” Dr Serwadda said, explaining how a few years ago, President Kagame resolved that any church without a siting capacity of 10,000 should be fuses with another to make up to the required number.

“We have pastors who are not trained in theological matters. We have those that just bumped into the system. We urge that as much as you have the calling, you need preparation to be groomed so that you are not at conflict with government authorities,” Apostle Tumwine said.

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