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Kampala International University suspends Christian fellowships

Kampala International University (KIU). Courtesy Photo.

Kampala International University (KIU) has suspended all prayer and bible study fellowships within the University premises, ordering Christian students to use the neighboring Churches.

In a statement dated 9th January, the Dean of Students, Ms Karwana Jovia wrote that the management will with immediate effect not entertain any fellowships within the University premises due to the current academic programmers which run through lunch and evening time.

“By this communication the university security should oversee that this is adhered to,” the statement read in part.

Ms Karwana said only Sunday and Saturday services for Seventh Day Adventists and other Christian groups will be allowed.

The private multi-campus institution was established 2001 but received its university charter in March 2009. It has over 12,000+ students, with majority professing to the Christian faith.

Fellowships at KIU around started 2012, and since then the University has seen many mushrooming of different Christian denominations. They are roughly 22 fellowships now, and each has from about 3 to as many as 100 participants.

Patron of one of the fellowships affected, speaking on condition of anonymity, told UG Christian News that the “fellowship issues” in KIU are not new.

“In 2015, they banned them, but the fellowship leaders came together with the Dean and negotiated terms upon which they would commence. Last semester, this same thing came up. And their main concerns are two; the fellowships are many – the other is that the University is owned by a Muslim,” the source said.

The source told this reporter that officials who come to attack them during fellowship as they pray purport “pressure from above”.

“Last semester I was preaching, and a security personnel came and arrested everyone in the fellowship, me inclusive. Every time they come to talk to us they say; you people know that this University is owned by a Muslim, and so is the top management,” the source said.

The source said what that document means is that Christians are not free to worship within the university because it is a Muslim institution.

The source noted that part of what the Christian student leaders earlier agreed upon with the management is to strictly keep their fellowships between 1-2 pm during lunch time, “something we adhere too.”

“If the pressure is from the top administration, why don’t they come out clear and give the boundaries so that new students enrolling have the knowledge that it is a Muslim institution with a strict policy on Christian meetings on campus,” the source said. “But then, you open up the university, and later impose regulations students didn’t know when they were enrolling. That is not good business,”

“At lunch time is when we meet, it is free time! If others decided to play games during that time, what is wrong with Christians meeting for fellowship to pray,” the source questioned. “That is strange.”

The university has a Christian Union that over sees most of the fellowships – monitors those existing and keeps into check or regulates new one.

By Press time, this website had learnt that the Management among other related stake holders had convened a meeting (12 January, 4pm) with the Vice Chancellor to discuss the way forward.

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