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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Uganda government to regulate church tithes and offerings

Kato Mivule My take: While I don't agree with many of the Pastors and Preachers who teach the Prosperity Gospel and fleece their followers, I see no reason for Govt to interfere with freedom of Worship by REGULATING Faith and Religion. The next thing is Govt will begin telling people who, when, how, and what to worship. Let the Ugandan Govt GET OUT of the Religion Business...

Uganda to regulate church tithes and offerings

By Godfrey Olukya

Posted on Monday, 11 February 2013 16:09

The Ugandan government has accused some churches of exploiting unsuspecting worshippers, leaving some of them on the brink of poverty, as they coaxed them into donating to the churches.

Questions have been raised of Christian churches that ask their members to give tithes, which involves giving ten percent of their earnings to the church on monthly basis.

Some worshippers have resorted to selling their property to honour their financial obligations to the church.

Uganda's Minister of State for Youth, Ronald Kibuule said there are plans to create laws that will regulate funds collected in churches.

This, he hopes, will stop cases of exploitation of congregants by church leaders.

Kibuule was cynical of some of the fundraising drives by churches, saying leaders "spend over one hour auctioning an egg or an egg plant".

"If possible the government could start providing funds to churches so that they stop extorting money from believers," he said.

Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has urged the clergy to mobilise their parishioners to engage in commercial agro production so that they also contribute more towards development of their churches.

"How can we have poor parishioners? It is ungodly.

"I appeal to my political colleagues and to the clergy to encourage their people not to just seat on such fertile land.

"If we transform these people, it will be easy for churches to operate," he said at the consecration of Reverend Canon Samuel George Bogere Egesa as the third Bishop of the Diocese of Bukedi in eastern Uganda on Sunday.

"I am really very much embarrassed. When you go to church and at the time of offertory worshipers bring a small basket of tomatoes, one stick of sugarcane, an egg... This is not the way we should move" Museveni warned.