Born Again Church leaders have applauded Members of Parliament for rejecting a bill aimed at regulating religious institutions introduce on the floor of parliament recently.
Manjiya County MP, John Baptist Nambeshe last month introduced a Private Member’s Bill titled the Religious Organisations Bill 2019 that seeks to have all religious organisations regulated but it was dissented to by number of fellow MPs.
Speaking at their conference at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala on Thursday, Born again pastors said MPs did a good job throwing away the satanic bill.
“Serving God does not require one to have a degree. We don’t want to be cardinals or reverends but rather serve God in any capacity,” said Bishop David Livingstone Kiganda, the founder and senior pastor of the Christianity Focus Centre, Mengo, Kisenyi.
“If it was education that matters in serving God, professors would be the best priests. The MPs did a great job throwing out that bill.”
Kiganda blasted Nambeshe and other MPs who for supporting the bill that he said is meant to curtail freedom of worship.
Buvuma County MP, Jennifer Nantume who was part of the pastors’ meeting said the bill is brought in bad faith, accusing its movers of having their own selfish interests.
“I am Catholic but I could not support such a bill that is not aimed at regulating but rather curtail people’s freedom of worship,”Nantume said.
The Born Again pastors insisted the move to regulate them is in bad faith and asked President Museveni to intervene in the matter.
Under the National Policy on Religious and Faith-Based Organisations government seeks to regulate religious institutions in the country.
The new policy will require all clerics to obtain formal theological training and to obtain a certificate from a recognized institution.
According to the policy document, a number of stakeholders including the Anglican church, Roman Catholic church, elders forum, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, judges, Members of Parliament and the Orthodox Church among others were consulted before coming up with it.
Faith -based institutions will be required to train clerics for their respective denominations and it will also put in place procedures to be followed by whoever wants to start a new church and will be required to declare their source of income.
The policy will also seek to enforce transparency and financial accountability in religious institutions.
A number of religions including Muslims, Anglican and Catholics among others have recognized theological schools from where their various leaders are trained from before they start doing the work of God.
Born Again churches have always protested against the move saying it is aimed at wiping them away.
They argue that the new policy curtails freedoms of worship enshrined in the Ugandan constitution.