Monday, 3 September 2012
BAPTIST CHURCH CELEBRATES 50-YEARS BUT WANTS GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION.
The Baptist Church on Sunday celebrated 50years of existence in Uganda with a call on the government to recognize them as a religious denomination a status only accorded to Anglicans, Catholics, Pentecostals and Muslims.
The Baptist Union of Uganda has since the reinstatement of freedom of worship been known as a non governmental organization operating in the country but not a religion despite building churches.
Officiating at the golden jubilee celebrations at Nyabugando Baptist church in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council, Kasese district, Rev. Moses Kaziba the vice president of the Baptist Union of Uganda said government should value their work towards development.
“We are tired of registering as an NGO and we call upon the government to recognize as us as a denomination. Look at what we have done in the country, establishing churches and schools and also a hospital in Soroti. So we need recognition”. Rev. Kaziba said.
In 50 years, the Baptist church has established over 2000 churches and registered over 500000 members in all corners of the country.
According to Rev. Kaziba, in every national census, the Baptists have always been categorized in the “others” column of the forms which does not show their presence to the whole world.
He said the Baptist Church needs special recognition from government because founding white man the late Paul Hulbert commonly known as Horobe is the one who prayed when Uganda received independence on October 9, 1962.
However, the Kasese district Vice Chairman Mr. Tadeo Muhindo who represented Defense Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga as chief guest, commended the Baptist Church for the work done towards development in the country.
Mr. Muhindo said the Baptists are right to demand for government recognition because they have been a religion that sets standards of being a faithful Christian.
The founders of the Baptist Church, the Late Amona Bisika, and Rev. Anderea Lubono among others entered Uganda in 1961 fleeing from a civil war in Zaire (currently DRC) and on arrival settled at Nyabugando where they established their first church in Uganda.
Mr. Simon Baluku, the chairman LC 3 of Nyamwamba Division in Kasese Municipality said then people referred to the Baptists as “abanya Ngunga” meaning the trumpet blowers because it was there identity.
According to the golden jubilee reporter, the church was founded in Uganda with an aim of evangelism, establishing schools and health centers. Currently they have over 300 primary schools, a number of colleges in the country.
The Baptist also boasts of the Compassion International an education program that supports children until they finish education.
The function was attended by Kasese Woman MP Ms. Winfred Kiiza, Bukonzo East MP Mr. Yokasi Bihandi among other people from all the religious divide in and outside Uganda.