On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Uganda's Independence, President Yoweri Museveni publically repented of his personal sins and of the sins of the nation: "Father in Heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank You for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank You for all Your goodness to us. I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for Your forgiveness.
"We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.
"We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
"Forgive our sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility, sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.
"These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us, and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love You, to feel You, and to seek You. Take away from us all the above sins.
"We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all Your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.
"We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.
"We want to dedicate this nation to You so that You will be our God and Guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nations whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice, to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: 'Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people You have chosen as Your own.'
"I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. I hereby Covenant Uganda to You, to walk in Your ways and experience all Your blessings forever.
"I pray for all these in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."
The Right Direction
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, said that this prayer was a step in the right direction. It is appropriate for the head of state to repent of his sins and of the sins of the nation.
Turn From Wicked Ways
The leader of Pentecostal churches, Alex Mitola, said that this prayer could be the beginning of the healing of the nation. "All the nations we read about in the Bible were healed when the leaders repented and acknowledged God's supremacy." He urged Ugandans to turn away from their wicked ways.
Bring Forth the Fruit of Repentance
Pastor Martin Kalibbala of the New Testament Covenant Church warned that the fruit of repentance is what matters. "If you repent of stealing, God expects you to immediately stop stealing. If the president's repentance is genuine, it will be measured on God's yard stick of bearing the fruit of repentance."
The Land That Henry Morton Stanley Explored
Uganda is a central African nation that borders the largest inland lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, the main source of the Nile River. Lake Victoria was first explored by Henry Morton Stanley in 1875. Stanley mapped its 2,000 miles of shoreline and established it as the largest lake in Africa, covering 26,000 square miles.
To Convert a King
English explorer, John Hanning Speke, had reported of king Mutesa, the Kabaka (or king) of Uganda as a Muslim. Stanley determined to destroy Mutesa's belief in Islam and teach the doctrines of Christ. For 12 days, Stanley instructed the king from the Old and New Testament, and at the end Mutesa announced that he would follow the Christian Sabbath, and he would instruct that the Ten Commandments be written on a board where everyone could see and study them everyday.
Evangelising the Nation
Stanley wrote and urged for missionaries to come to help evangelise and disciple Uganda. The Church of England sent out a series of teams, including the very successful Alexander Mackay, who Stanley described as the best missionary Africa had seen since Dr. David Livingstone. The church in Uganda grew dramatically, and today the Anglican Church of Uganda is one of the largest in the world.
Faith in Uganda Today
The 2010 edition of Operation World reports that of 28 million people, 84% of Ugandans are officially Christian. There are 14,600 Anglican congregations in Uganda, comprising over 5 million members and over 12 million adherents. 37% of Ugandans are Evangelicals, 19% Charismatics, and 5.7% Pentecostals.
Through the Flames of Persecution
The churches in Uganda suffered severe persecution under the Muslim dictatorship of Idi Amin, who seized power in the Military Coup of 1971. Hundreds-of-thousands of Christians were slaughtered under Idi Amin's brutal wave of terror which was described in books and films as The Ugandan Holocaust. The country also suffered severely under the dictatorship of Milton Obote, who was finally overthrown in 1986 by Yoweri Museveni.
Operation World reports revival and growth from 1986 onwards with widespread prayer movements, and a strong Evangelical presence in the Church of Uganda: "making Uganda one of the most truly Christian nations in the world, with church attendance high and public prayer common, even the government and judicial buildings.
"Pentecostal and Charismatic growth in the last 20 years is remarkable. The fastest growing churches in Uganda are almost all from this background - from mega churches of 15,000 to house and storefront churches. The spiritual fervour and expectation see transformational efforts - in Kampala, crime rates have fallen and it is estimated that more than half the population attend Evangelically orientated services."
Wars and Revolutions
Despite the devastation of the Amin and Obote dictatorships, warfare on their borders in the Congo, Sudan and Rwanda, and the terrorism of the Muslim-supported Lords Resistance Army (LRA) the government in Uganda has succeeded in introducing multiparty elections, a free enterprise system and a free press.
Winning the War Against Aids
Uganda's battle against AIDS has massively reduced the cases from over 25% of the population affected in 1992, to below 10% by 2001. This has been achieved largely on a platform of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage.
Uganda has tremendous agricultural potential, with most of the land very fertile and well watered. The climate is temperate in the highlands.
11% of the population are Muslim and under 3% Animist. Little has been done so far to reach out to the Muslim population. Muslim Evangelism training amongst the churches in Uganda is an acute need.
Depth of Discipleship Needed
Syncretistic practices and false teachers are multiplying as the church grows beyond the Leadership Training capabilities of the existing structures. One of the greatest needs for the church in Uganda is for solid Bible teaching. The fastest growing groups have the fewest ordained pastors and the lowest training standards. The need for solid, affordable, relevant and accessible Leadership Training programmes and solid Discipleship literature is urgent.
Literature and Literacy
Officially 68% of the population are literate. The official languages are English and Swahili. There are 45 languages in the country with the full Bible in 18 Ugandan languages, New Testament in 9 languages, Gospels only in 16 other languages and 13 languages have Bible translation works in progress.
Pray for Uganda
Pray for this strategic central African country, at the source of the Nile, surrounded by so many nations in desperate need. It is our vision that as Uganda is discipled for Christ, that it may become a major Missionary sending base for Evangelising and Discipling the needy nations around it.
Targeted for Disinformation
Even as Uganda seeks to bring its laws into conformity with Scriptural standards, it is being targeted by homosexual activists and threatened by Western governments. A current Bill before the Ugandan Parliament increases the jail sentences for homosexual acts and criminal penalties for those who engage in, or promoting homosexual perversion. A widespread disinformation campaign has characterised the Ugandan Bill as a "kill the gays Bill!" Ugandan law provides for the death penalty for rape, including homosexual rape, but many are leaving this detail out and characterising the Ugandan government as an intolerant regime which is threatening to kill people just for their gay orientation!
The Apostasy of the West
Ugandan Christians express their shock and disappointment that European and American government officials are now threatening Ugandans for attempting to implement Biblical standards in their laws. "There was a time when Christians from America and Britain, such as Henry Morton Stanley and Missionary Alexander Mackay, came to teach us the Gospel. Now the governments of those countries are threatening economic warfare against us and sanctions for attempting to be faithful to the Scriptures." Some Ugandans are wondering whether they need to be sending missionaries to the West.
"Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you." 2 Chronicles 19:2
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Henry Morton Stanley
Praying for Justice
Urgent Call for Prayer for Christians Under Fire in Africa