Orombi living in the tension

Waylaid by volcanic ash, Archbishop Orombi’s address to the Global South conference was read for him.

We don’t want a state church, but we do want state mandated religious education:

One of the challenges we face as Anglicans is that our Mother Church in England is a State Church. Yet, for most of us, we are not in that situation in our own countries. But, we have this problem that we think England represents ideal Anglicanism. My friends – the Church of England is declining; it is aging; there are few young people, and less than 1 million attend church on any given Sunday. I’ve read the statistics, and I’ve been there to see for myself that this is true. If you look at other countries that have State Churches, you will see very similar patterns. There are massive church buildings where once there was a thriving congregation. But, not any longer.

We must purge ourselves of the “State Church” mentality that we inherited from our Mother Church in England. … We must not equate pure Anglicanism with England and the English way of doing things.

We are also bombarded with this message through international NGOs that have set up business in Uganda, and particularly some who masquerade secularism under the guise of human rights and development. Ugandans in particular, and Africans in general, are religious and spiritual people. Secularism is not natural to us, and is quite foreign. Yet, the world view of media is, in general, secular. The current generation is growing up with this foreign influence and their parents and relatives do not understand it…they see only the impact it has on their children. Our institutions of higher learning have professors who have been educated in secular Western institutions and they pass on secularism in the form of “higher education.” Yet, our theological colleges have not kept up with the apologetics task of training our clergy and lay readers in how to respond in compelling ways to the challenge of secularism.

In Uganda, religious education has been mandatory in the schools – either CRE (Christian Religious Education) or IRE (Islamic Religious Education). Our national motto is, “For God and My Country.” The government, however, because of pressure from secularism is considering eliminating religious education from the curriculum.

Note the subtext: homosexuality is not African.

On dependency:

We in Uganda are a self-governing church. We are a self-theologizing church. We are a self-propagating church. But, we are not yet a self-supporting church. We are like a three-legged cow. When a cow breaks its leg, at best it limps. But, usually, we will just slaughter it. We are a limping church because we are so heavily dependent on outside funding. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that we have not yet been slaughtered. But, the potential to be slaughtered is a distinct possibility. Our mission in our local contexts and around the world is seriously hampered because of our dependency on others.

Dependency on what others? And who is it that threatens to slaughter the Church of Uganda?

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