Religious leaders call for peace as Christians celebrate Christmas
The condemnation of bloodshed and violence in various parts of the country dominated Christmas sermons as Christians commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ.
Through their Christmas messages, clerics noted that Christmas should remind the faithful about humility, peace, reconciliation, and God’s love.
They called on the faithful to stand as one people, show love to one another and eschew bigotry even in times of difficulty due to several challenges including poverty, heightened political tensions, and COVID-19 among others.
Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, who led the Christmas mass at Lubaga Cathedral in Kampala challenged the congregation to be mindful of the brotherly heart, which he noted is dying out and being replaced by individualism, greed, and egoism.
Relating to the lowly birth of Jesus, which took place in a kraal, Archbishop Kasujja stressed that every person in his capacity needs to reflect on the humility shown by Jesus.
At Namirembe Cathedral, Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira called upon leaders to use the birth of Jesus Christ to change their ways for the better.
He said this year’s Christmas comes at a time when the country is facing a lot of challenges that need immediate attention from the leaders.
wondered how people in a country full of suffering can be told that the birth of Christ is a joy to the world.
“Justice, freedom, and peace are what we are calling for; let justice not be turned into injustice. Use the coming of Christ to change your ways. If Jesus was to come back today, how has his message changed people’s lives? Can we present Uganda as a well-disciplined nation?” Luwalira wondered.
At Christ the King Church in Kampala, Rev Fr. Mathias Nteza asked Christians to emulate Jesus who has been born today by forgiving and reconciling with their families and friends who wronged them. From House of Prayer Church, Pastor Aloysius Bujingo’s message centered on what the Christian character should be and reflected on the true meaning of Christmas.
Elsewhere in Tororo, His Grace Dr. Emmanuel Obbo, the Archbishop of Tororo Diocese condemned violence in its totality within the country and community, noting that it’s against the will of Christmas.
He noted with concern that violence has become a lifestyle in Uganda with people killing each other over minor things rather than taking the path of reconciliation path.
“It’s even better you quarrel in your families because no one is going to stop than to kill one another because of simple things,” said Dr. Obbo during his homily at Uganda Martyrs’ Cathedral. He urged families to live peacefully and have genuine love not contaminated with hypocrisy and pride.
In the Teso Sub Region, clerics also implored the faithful to desist from malicious thoughts and hatred while celebrating Christmas.
At St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rt. Rev. Kosea Odongo, the Bishop of Soroti Diocese, said that Christmas is meaningless when people involve in sinful actions like killings, adultery, and corruption among others.
“If a person invites you for Christmas in a way of sinning against God, don’t go because today a savior is born. You cannot see a savior being born and you continue being corrupt. Don’t celebrate Christmas with malice, with hatred, or in a manner that doesn’t bring glory to God. I want to pray that you become Christians in character and practice,” he said.
Bishop Odongo further urged Christians to celebrate Christmas with joy, peace, and love for each other for a better country.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Eciru Oliach, the Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese asked Christians to surrender their sins as the best gift on Christmas Day.
In Ankole region, the massage was no different as clerics urged Christians to use the Christmas season to restore their lost hope by believing and returning to the Lord.
The men of God observed that people have lost hope in the two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Grace Rev. Lambert Beinomugisha, the Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese, noted that even though there are several challenges ranging from Social, economic, and political to overcome, he said that with hope and Jesus in their midst, there will be progress.
Bishop Stephen Namanya of North Ankole Diocese noted that children have lost hope in the two years the Education sector has been closed but with the birth of Jesus Christ, hope is restored.
He urged Christians not to lay back and forget the Guidelines set by the Health ministry against the pandemic.
Bishop South of Ankole Diocese Rt Rev Nathan Ahimbisibwe, said despite all uncertainties that surround mankind, the birth of Christ is love that mankind should accept.
He said knowing Christ is set to bring change in lives to stay happily in communities.
Dr. Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa, the Bishop of Ankole Diocese, said Ugandans should appreciate God’s love noting that other countries have been hit hard by the pandemic.
He, however, expressed concern over the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and urged Christians to observe the standard operating procedures and take the COVID-19 jab.
In the same development, Dr. Joseph Sserwadda, the presiding apostle at Victory Christian Center, Ndeeba, urged Christian to fight for their rights, saying that nothing will ever come to them on a silver plate.
Pastor Sserwadda said that even as the Born-Again Church, they have had to fight for their existence and have been free.