Views from Fiona: Pentecostal Rows Rage On
Seeking divine intervention.

Views from Fiona: Pentecostal Rows Rage On


Seeking divine intervention.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: July 15, 2007


For sometime now, Christianity as a whole has been facing problems worldwide and the drama continues. The Anglican and Catholic churches have been faced with trying situations in recent years but the Pentecostal churches now take the biscuit. From accusations of sodomising Altar boys against Catholic priests and the consecration of gay bishops in the US to fake pastors in our own backyard in Uganda, Christianity is besieged. If there has ever been a time that needed divine intervention to save the church, this is it. 


Pentecostal churches are known to have broken away from the mainstream churches but all do the same thing; spreading the word of God. Recent indications in Uganda, however, show that Pentecostal church leaders have turned their services into grand moneymaking projects. First, many churches mushroomed and were promptly nicknamed Bibanda. These Pentecostal churches have never had good reviews and in some cases justly so.

Whereas at the beginning of this year one of Uganda's well known pastors was accused of hiding liquor in one of his lakeside posh mansions, he blamed it on his detractors who keep 'witch hunting' him. The smuggled liquor was recovered but no evidence on how it was directly connected to him came forth. The Ugandan authorities conveniently decided to forget the incident.

Another pastor was accused of witchcraft. The organisation that brings together Pentecostal churches in Uganda set up a commission of inquiry but its findings are still unknown.

However, for me, two recent cases stand out. One involves an ill lady who, in desperation, turned to God and was promised healing in the name of God at the church she joined. However, there was a catch. She had to offer something for her prayers to work and she handed over her car to the pastor. Lock, stock and barrel. After all, she was about to receive healing from a deadly and sadly incurable disease via the pastor's intervention. However, try hard as he did, the pastor's prayers never helped. She asked for her car back.

Her health deteriorated. The church did not want to know. Returning the car was out of question. Eventually, her case got media publicity and a kind lawyer took it upon himself to sue the church. To save its face, the church returned the lady's car. However, it had been written off after an accident!

The second and more disgusting incident happened last week when a pastor was found to use technological intervention to 'heal' his flock. Ugandan police and customs recently grilled Pastor Obiri Yeboah of We Are One Ministries for importing a gadget that was intended to electrically shock members of his congregation. The said gadget (Electric Touch Machine) is the creation of Yigal Mesika, an Israeli magician based in Los Angels, California. On his website, Yigal comments about the machine: "Everything you touch will turn to excitement! A breakthrough in magic and mentalism that will take your effects to the next level". The website has directions on how to use the machine.

The Bible talks of false prophets Deut: 13:1, Acts 16:16, Mathew: 7:15-23, 24:23-25. We should expect false prophets today, just as the Israelites were warned to expect them in the past. Jesus warned of false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23; 24:23-25), as did the apostle Paul (Acts 20:28-31), Peter (2 Peter 2:1), and John (1 John 4:1). They will not only come to us from without (2 John 1:4-11) but also from within (Acts 20:28-31, 2 Peter 2:12-22). Some of them may very well come with false wonders (Matthew 24:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:9). We must constantly be on the alert for such men and women, who will seek to lead us astray. As a rule, we can expect these folks to add to or dilute the scriptures (see Deuteronomy 12:32, Revelation 22:18-19) to suit their needs. They will also seek to twist the scriptures (2 Peter 3:14-18).

Perhaps, because religion is a sensitive issue, the nation has turned a blind eye to what has been going wrong for a while. However, there is need not to let our people be preyed upon. Economic vultures seek to suck on the small incomes of our people. In the olden days, priests and preachers were generally known to live modest lives. Happy are those who are poor for they will inherit the kingdom of God, remember? In today's Uganda, pastors are the richest citizens. They generally own posh penthouses, drive Hummers and certainly live a grand life style.

Not all preachers and pastors in Uganda are shady, but certainly, there are a lot of bad apples amongst them. If we do not uproot them fast, they will tarnish the little image we are holding unto as a nation.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: July 15, 2007
Fiona Abaasa is a freelance writer for UGPulse.com.

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