I can only imagine but I can’t know for sure what motivated the late Monsignor Hilarious Kaijanabyo to formulate the Uganda Motto to be “For God and My Country” but what I do know is that he knew at the back of his mind, that the only stable foundation on which post independent Uganda could stand would be that on Godly principles. Whether or not this is a reality now remains a question for all of us to answer. We might not have arrived yet but we have definitely left and are on this Journey so as well celebrate the milestones we should also look at what is left to be done.
In The few years I have lived in this awesome country, I have to admit-Uganda’s religious freedom for me is second to none (That’s probably because Uganda is the only home I’ve ever known). It is not the sort of freedom that only exists in theory but can be seen in action all-round the country.
Just like every other country that has attempted to uphold religious freedoms there’s always the challenge of ensuring that all religions somehow forge a way to equally co-exist despite the fact that the foundational truths that each of them proposes are not entirely the same.
Religion is a word that over the years, I’ve grown to avoid because it’s meaning that has evolved overtime, but for the sake of this post, I’ll keep using it only as a description of a group of people that hold similar views on how best to relate with God.
While I respect the views of every other religions in Uganda I will only limit myself to the broader religion of Christianity in Uganda.
The past few years have seen the growth in the number of churches in the country and consequently the number of believers (Those who subscribe to a religion), if we were to use a scientific term for this trend, it would be what is called exponential growth.
Why is it that despite this growth, we’ve still not yet witnessed a similar shift in terms of morality? In contrast we have over the years seen an increase in immorality so much that one wonders whether we are a country that ‘Fears God’.
My celebration of Uganda cuts across many other areas but I feel that our religious values as a country far supersedes any other values we may have so for #UgandaAt55 I have chosen to celebrate Uganda’s Christian values upon which our beloved country was founded. The reason for this is that just as Psalms 33:12 declares that,
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord….
In context we can interpret this as “Blessed is a Uganda whose God is the Lord”.
Even with all the ungodliness (immorality) that’s going on in our country, it is possible for us to get back to the basics and appreciate the far that God has brought us. In “Amen”, a song released last year by The Collective, Chloe Koburunga and Sam Kimera did a very commendable job of calling us to repentance as a country. In the bridge of the song, there’s a 2 Chronicles 7:14 prayer that,
Now we Your people ,Called by Your name ,Humble ourselves ,And return ,To seek Your face ,Lord hear from heaven ,Draw near ,Heal our land.
As a reminder of what we need to be focusing on as a country, I believe this song should even be recognized as a national prayer or just maybe an Anthem.
Before we can start seeing the collective fruits of our effort towards leaning on God’s understanding, we must recognize that we have come short of his standard and be humble enough to admit that we need a savior because I can guarantee you that we can’t save ourselves.
The church as a whole needs to get out of the four walls and break out of tradition by getting involved in the marketplace especially leadership and politics. For us to see the ‘Fear of God’ resonate all through the country, we can’t afford to sit back in the comfort of our Homes and passover gatherings that happen every January 1st.
If you hold the same view about the need for our country to get back to fear of the Lord, then join me alongside many others in this cause and a few years down the road we will remember these days and give a testimony of “Thus far the Lord has brought us” (This would actually make a good theme for an independence celebration sometime ahead).
My declaration for #UgandaAt55 is that as a country in summary is that we;
- We appreciate that our founding fathers desired that we be governed based on Godly principles.
- We acknowledge that on our own we cannot save ourselves and therefore the need for a savior.
- We seek to find our individual contribution in this cause to see our country return to the fear of the Lord.
- We take the Gospel out of the comfort of the places of worship into the market place where it is needed most.
- We appreciate that our religious freedom is an opportunity to call the country to order rather than concentrating on fault finding.
- We need to recognize that we are the only usable vessels that God has placed here on Earth and in particular Uganda to bring his God’s will to completion so the sooner we take our rightful place, the better.