By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: Ugandan born again, Catholic,Anglican and Muslim leaders since the outbreak of COVID-19 have been via scientific Sunday teachings appealing to government to open places of worship, saying the latter can act as places of comfort to the people as the country eases the lockdown.
The latest appeal was made by the lead Pastor of Christian Focus Centre in Mengo Kisenyi Bishop David Livingstone Kiganda, who revealed via his Facebook post that he had served an ultimatum of ten days to the government to re-open places of worship that were closed three months ago due to COVID-19 or he leads a demonstration.
In his post he said 10 days started counting on Sunday June, 28, 2020 noting that the deadline is July, 8, 2020. “If churches are still closed tomorrow, we will start putting on sack-cloth (Kutiya-gowns) as a sign of protest against the government.
Kiganda added that continued closure of places of worship is a clear sign of ingratitude to them, who have saved the nation from the Covid-19 death, to an extent that, even a rat hasn’t died since the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Should God’s house remain closed after the 8th, July 2020. No one should be surprised when you see us in this new type of attire while praying and lamenting for our nation and it’s leadership and asking God to forgive us for comparing him to a mere virus” he posted.
Other religious leaders who have been seen raising an alarm to government to open places of worship include, Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, while celebrating Idd-ul-Fitr on May 24, when he called for opening of places of worship, saying the world needed prayers to heal during this difficult time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kampala Catholic Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga also emphasised that places of worship are the only places where people can run to seek God’s guidance, protection and intervention because of the current challenges facing the world.
Lead Pastor of House Of Prayer Ministries International popularly known as Canaan Land Pr. Aloysius Bujingo previously via a televised Sunday service also appealed to government to open places of worship so that believers can cleanse their souls mostly those who have been treated badly by the current situation.
“I have been appealing to government in my previous services and i continue to request that let places of worship be opened so that believers can cleanse their souls mostly those who have been treated badly by the current situation” Pastor Bujingo said.
“The only way to over come this pandemic is by coming together as believers and we cry to God ,Uganda has no cure for COVID-19 but see God’s wonders every day we register recoveries and no death…its him…..then we must praise him not closing him out” Pastor Bujingo added.
This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta has set in motion the stage for gradual resumption of congregational worship to take effect in the next three weeks.
In his address to the Nation on Monday, the Head of State said the phased reopening of places of worship will see only 100 congregants allowed into the sanctuaries.
“In line with the guidelines issued by the Inter-Faith Council, only a maximum of one hundred (100) participants will be allowed at each worship ceremony and not more than one hour. Sunday Schools and Madrassas shall remain suspended until further notice” President Uhuru said.
“In-person worship shall not include congregants under the age of thirteen (13) years or above the age of 58 years or persons with underlying conditions,” he said when he lifted the cessation of movement for Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera which had been in effect for the past three months.